Life in Styles

Archive for the ‘Good Finds’ Category

Choco Topps is a sweet revenge from Suncrest Foods Incorporated, the manufacturer of Cup Keyk. Remember Cup Keyk – cup cakes that come in different flavors: cheese, ube, and pandan, among others.

Yes, I am talking about the locally made cup cakes that most kids or moms  grab from grocery shelves, or conveniently  buy from the neighborhood sari-sari store that sells for P6 a piece.  I tell you these cup cakes have remained top choice for merienda treats for everyone. I believe Choco Topps, however, made a more noteworthy difference, a huge leap to say, for Suncrest to remain as one of the major players in the local food industry.

I had my first bite of Choco Topps, about  three weeks ago when my mom bought a pack for my son.  Since then I and my son have become a fan, especially me , and have since started on a contest: who eats more in a single sitting, a glass of juice clasped in one hand.img_0963

Choco Topps has chewy, chocolate icing, topped with vanilla flakes or candies, while the chocolate cake is filled with rich, vanilla cream. The last bite should already make you full; but it is seemingly just so difficult to resist for a second grab, or maybe even for a third one.

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With several players in the food industry attempting to hit the market in a single shot, Suncrest must definitely be proud of their latest product, because one bite of Choco Topps truly tops it all.

Do you love to read? Or better yet, to eat? Then FOOD and FOODIE Magazines are for you. I came across these magazines, since my brother, who’s almost a Chef in his own right, owns them. Some of them he did buy himself; some of them were given by generous friends.

FOOD and FOODIE Magazines are both published by ABS-CBN Publishing, Inc. Whilst FOOD is released on the 15th day of each month, FOODIE is published on a bi-monthly basis. What’s not to love about these magazines? Let me count the ways.

Though these two magazines initially project an air of class and sophistication for anything culinary, surprisingly, when you go deeper into the pages, they are actually a balanced view between the classy and what may be ordinary. The recipes are both for the upper class and the average Filipino homemaker.

Next amazing thing about them is that their stories on food and people, surrounded by the love for food and cooking, are truly engaging and strike right through the heart – of cooking, that is! Besides, you will surely learn something new from their helpful tips.

Third, if you love looking at sumptuous dishes, this is definitely it! Or if you have a passion for photography, especially food as the subject, you can refer to their photos as wonderful basis. So it’s actually not just about cooking, it’s also about picture-perfect food.

And, of course, if you just love going on a food trip with your partner, best friend, or anybody you can tag along with, then the adventure awaits in the line up of restaurants regularly featured in each issue. When you see them around the bend, and are reminded of how these magazines talk about their cuisines, don’t just pass them by. Check it out for yourself!

Buy them, and don’t keep them  to yourself.  Put these magazines in a fancy gift box and surprise a friend or two! For something as affordable as P95 each, FOOD and FOODIE Magazines are not painful to the purse.

tsokonut3I had long seen Tsoko.Nut (pronounced choco-nut) on Dela Rosa St. in Makati City for years, but that’s how exactly I had been doing–just look at it. I had been looking at it, but in my mind, I had actually been curious.

My curiosity ended last Saturday, as I got down at the Dela Rosa parking after a half-day tour of a real estate development in Paranaque City, which awed me no end, but that’s another story.

Sandy and I thought to have lunch in Pancake House, but we found ourselves at Tsoko.Nut instead, after looking at the huge menu banner by the entrance; not that we didn’t like the classic Pancake House dishes.

It was a first for both of us, and it was like beginners’ luck.  Daing na Bangus with Pinangat was great. At P109 per order, it was a winner–not too heavy, not too light. Just enough to tide you over till snack time in the late afternoon. I would think that the other dishes were great, too, as most of them were traditional Filipino food.

I had coffee after, as I always do after a meal, but Sandy, who had the chocolate drink, told me it was too good to pass up. I decided to have one to-go, and thought it would be good to take sips in between green and red lights on the way home.  Sandy was right–it was creamy, nutty, and rich, so naturally tasty!

Why haven’t I discovered it long before? I had tried so many choco drinks before, but Tsoko.Nut’s is best so far.

This is choco cafe is for the Pinoy’s taste. And perhaps for the rest of the world.

Summer is here again, folks! The Philippine Islands will once again teem with bodies beautiful clad in bright and light wear.  Don’t you just crave for sexy tans you can brag about? If you have it, this means you have finally made that travel during summer.

We crave for martinis in bikinis, because this means you have worked your way out into finally getting that dream body ready for the beach, and it’s time to make a toast. For some reason, summer makes us crave for these and more. And let me tell you what I crave for this summer.

Aside from travel and more lovin’ this summer, I crave for these wonderful Boho outfits from Polyvore. A Boho look this summer? Why not? Because I believe the best thing about going Boho is that it can fit in any season. It’s just a matter of picking and matching up perfect pairs. Check out these to-die-for outfits!

Bohemian Rhapsody
Bohemian Rhapsody – by SIXella on Polyvore.com

..Boema Bella..
..Boema Bella.. – by Sophie on Polyvore.com

According to WorldCloset.com, a true bohemian is a free spirit, a goddess, a lover of world culture and admirer of ethnic traditions in music, dress, and clothing. Here is my challenge: awaken your own bohemian life in these fabulous outfits! Who knows? The true you is actually that Boho look.

There is more to Polyvore, click here to find similarly wonderful boho outfits.

Anything I can find while on trips I cherish. These are the kinds you do not see in grocery shelves, and so there is no substitute to getting one or two of these rare stuff.

Take pickled chilis. I first saw a bottle of these while on a trip back to Manila from Tagaytay. Conveniently, Rowena’s was on the side of the road you can stop by at. The store is littered with specialty preserves, biscuits, Barako coffee. But the pickled chilis really caught my attention–how easy to just pop the bottle open, take a few pieces, pour cane vinegar into it, and you have a hot side dish that goes perfectly well with fried or grilled fish. Incomparably delectable!

I was in Tagaytay a few days back, and stopping by Rowena’s was as natural as stopping by to get gas. You can’t miss this store, and I was excited to get my bottle of pickled chilis. Too bad it was not available. My days of frustration reached a week! And suddenly, I found myself wide-eyed when a bottle of pickled chilis appeared to me in one of the shelves of the Landmark grocery!

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Isn’t that lovely? It’s German-inspired, Pfeuffer’s Gourmet Pickles Hot Pepper. My dried lapu-lapu fish just got perked! No preservatives, not salty, and hot! This is Philippine-made.

And for the skin–this oil is also hot! It’s called Chi, herbal massage and body oil, which I found in one of the streets in a city down South. I have never parted with the first bottle of this aromatic oil, perfect for relieving headaches, muscle aches, tired legs, fatigue, stress, and even nervous tension. I got my second bottle just a few days ago! Whoa!

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Philippine-made, from, read: Lavandula officinalis oil, Andropogon citratus oil, and Cocos nucifera oil. I prefer Chi over those over-the-counter muscle ache liniments. It is very light and soothing. And the smell makes you want to just close your eyes and breathe deeply till you exhale all your worries away.

Sometimes when you happen to be in a place you least expect to be, and you do not have any intentions to shop, you can actually get some good finds. This is always my mantra: “I know what I like when I see it.”

So, one afternoon, as I was finding my way through an unassuming mall in Mandaluyong City, I happened to pass by a stall just in front of the way out to the MRT station in Shaw. The lady, who was still preparing for the 10:00 am opening, was stacking pairs of sandals and putting up the price signs. One read, “P180.00 Made in Marikina.” I was curious and so I stopped by to see what was being sold.

flats-in-star-mallI found sandals of leather straps and black leather soles. I tried a pair and thought they were very comfortable. And sold for only P180.00 a pair at that! What a bargain! I bought a pair, of course. I would have wanted to buy a pair with white straps, with brown straps, but my money was earmarked for something else…

Ladies who would chance upon my sleek black leather-strapped flats would ask, “Where’d you get that? They look so pretty!”

Next time you are at the Shaw-EDSA intersection, get in the Star Mall. You’ll see that the stores there are meant for people like me who would always be attracted to stuff with price tags below P200.00, but with very good quality.