Sunday, February 28, 2010

Weekend Food Tripping at: Emerald Garden + 31st Birthday

Happy Birthday to me...
Happy Birthday to me...
Happy Birthday dear oldie...
Happy Birthday NIKKI!

It actually rhymes!  I thought the 30th birthday would be THE BLAST and the rest will be celebrated like a normal boring individual!  Life definitely starts at ... of course, I am the writer here so you have to bear with me.... THIRTY ++++++ !!!  *hahaha*

I've had the longest birthday celebration ever!  It started last week and it will probably end early March!  I am loving the food tripping, the party and of course, the meet ups with friends!  Of course, I'll put in some quality time with the hubby!  It wasn't even my birthdate when we've decided to dine in the exact restaurant we got engaged on July 7, 2007!  Emerald Garden.

Eventhough it's for my advance birthday celebration, I'd like to celebrate it quietly with food I love!  So be ready to be  bored and hungry at the same time!

Corn with Quail Eggs Soup
Small order and this is good for 4-5 people!
Love the sweet tasting soup that's warm for the tummy!  
I like this that this tastes authentic, not the ready made corn soup type!


Fish with Tofu 
What's the best way to celebrate a nice dinner with my favorite combination?
This Fish with Tofu combination adds up different kinds of mushrooms! 
I love mushrooms too!


Peking Duck on Lettuce Wrap
I've always tried the Shredded Pork with Lettuce Wrap.
I am not a fan of duck but for the sake of "new taste", I've given this a chance
and I did not regret it!  Its something new, taste is just right!  Do not forget to ask for the sauce!


And what's dining in a Chinese Retaurant without trying their house tea?
The restaurant serves Jasmine Green Tea!  

Emerald Garden
1170 Roxas Blvd. Ermita, Manila
Tel no: (632) 523-8515 

Huge parking space, service is great!  Restaurant accepts cash and credit card payments, NO Service Charge! :)

Here's a peek on how my Birthday celebration went...

Went for a quiet dinner with  my family 
because my brother will go back to China 

My colleagues created a Mardis Gras theme birthday party for me :)

I really enjoyed my birthday celebration!
Thanks to everyone for the well wishes and greetings :)
Love ya!

And I have 2 more birthday parties to attend to, tonight and next weekend!!!  I love it!!!  Feels like a celebrity..where are the paparazzis???? :)  *humming Lady Gaga song* 

Have a wonderful weekend!
Big welcome to March!
Keep smilin'
Stay happy!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

AMW Reads: For the Month of February

Dear Readers!  Another monthly roundup!  Let me share to you some wonderful reads for the month of love! :)


I have a lot of readers asking me for reviews for the Neutrogena Wave, I have used it but I still need enough time as I don't use it as often as I wanted to, I'm glad Red Luscious Lips talked about Good Vibrations: Neutrogena Wave .

There's so many raves about Urban Decay Primer Potion (UDPP), I love UDPP myself and I've use them on clients that has the oiliest lids ever!  I am glad to read the other side of UDPP from My Women Stuff.  Read on "Is it a genie in a bottle and a hall of fame?"

I haven't been doing much makeup looks lately, so you can always check out the lovely looks created by Skin Deco!  I love her Neutral Twist --- Chartreuse, Taupe and Purple look!

I love creativity!  When the So Loverly girls shared their DIY Beauty: Blotter Case, I can't help but tell all my friends about it!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Keep smilin'
Stay happy!

Something New: Sweet Contemplation Jewelry + HUGE Thanks

Saturday is sleep in day but this is going to be quite a busy weekend!  I'm not complaining though as things are starting to look up this year, *crosses finger* Power of positivity! (Right Shen? hahaha).

Early this month, I received a gift card from my dearest friend, imagine my excitement when I was given the chance to pick my own gift at Sweet Contemplation Accessories.  My dearest friend Christine Wang is the owner and designer of all the pieces you see on her site.  She offers beautifully customized hand-crafted jewelry from earrings, bracelets, necklaces, watches and bridal jewelries!

I had a hard time choosing but I finally came up with 2 bracelets that is so ME!!! After a couple of weeks!  I got it!!!

I felt giddiness all over again, like my 18th birthday *winks*


A regular bracelet and a watch bracelet that screams NIKKI!  I made the right decision.  It isn't difficult to choose my favorite piece as photos are clear and taken as is!  


  •  Silver-plated brass, nickel free
  • Byzantine chainmaille, enitirely handcrafted
  • Length: 17.7cm (adjustable, you can shorten or lengthen)

Up close on the intricate flower :)


  • Sterling silver
  • Czech and glass beads
  • Length: 17.4cm (adjustable, can shorten/lengthen)


Lovely detail, love the mini heart that says..
"Made With Love" 


Tine, such a sweetheart, also sent me a birthday gift!  She added a lovely necklace called Snowflake!  The design and color is perfect!!!  I love it!  Thank you!


And you think I'm done?  I thought so too!  Well, I'm not!  Another sister Prettybeautiful sent me this early!  It's another bracelet with lovely charms!  In my initial "N" and cute charms that represents the "girl" in me! 
I guess this year started with "bracelet bang!" :)

I am really into accessories/jewelries!  If you didn't know that, now you do! :)  This is the perfect timing for me to celebrate my birthday showing off my lovely gifts from friends!  Don't think I'm weird if I'm waving my hands showing off these bracelets!  I'm just a proud momma!

Are you into jewelries too?
Keep smilin'
Stay happy!


Friday, February 26, 2010

Nail Art Tutorial: "Celebration" Nails

Happy Friday!!! Thank goodness it's Friday!!!  How's the week treating you?  Mine isn't bad at all as this is my birthday week!  As I get older, birthday celebrations are getting a bit longer!  With different group of friends and colleagues, I definitely have more chance to food trip and celebrate with them!  Aaaahhh the sweet life with food! 

Let me share to you my "Celebration" Nails.  I call this a celebration nails because you can do this to celebrate any special occasions!  In my case, it's my birthday celebration nails!  I wanted it quite easy to do, not too flashy, yet it screams "Happiness"!!!

This is a toned down version of last week's nail art tutorial!  I am loving it so much I have to do a second round.

Here's my final nail art for the week

Step 1:
Apply your choice of basecoat prior to nail polish application.  Let dry.  I use a pale pink polish from The Face Shop in PK104.  Apply 2 coats and let dry.

Step 2:
Create a French Tip using matte white polish.  I am using Elianto's white polish.  


Step 3:
Using L.A. Colors Art Deco in Red, create a think line between the white French tip and the base color.  Continue with thin, feathery strokes, going to the direction your hand is comfortable with.

Step 4:
Using L.A. Colors Art Deco in Black, create the same strokes in between the red lines.


Step 5:
Proceed with white feather lines, using L.A. Colors Art Deco in White,  if you have a  couple more colors.  Your choice of color combination!


Step 6:
Apply Elianto's glittery polish or any brand on top of the nail art once dry.  


Step 7:
Protect your nail art with your favorite top coat.

It's really simple to do this nail art, if you don't have L.A. Colors Art Deco polish, you can purchase thin brush at local bookstores and create thin lines with it!  



Hope you like it!
Keep smilin'
Stay happy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I Wonder: "Have Your Forced Yourself to Finish a Product Because of its Price?"

Happy Thursday!  How's the week treating you?  Mine was still busy but at least, I get to relax a bit in between and meet up with lovely friends! 

As a beauty products writer and reviewer, I've tested so many products from head to toe!  There may be some products that are given by companies for reviews but most of the time, I purchase my own products using my very much hard earned money. 

Which led me to an "I Wonder" question for the week...

"Have you forced yourself to finish a product 
     because of it's price?"

I did and I still am!  When I went to Shanghai for vacation 2 years ago, I purchased Tsubaki's Shampoo and Conditioner.  The pair works really well for the first few months but I got bad case of dandruff mid-bottle!  I still finish it up!

And you think I learned my lesson.

When my brother came back for vacation last year, I requested him to help me purchase Shiseido's Aquair shampoo and conditioner because of the raves I've read online.  The dearest brother gifted me this and I knew it's almost the same price as Tsubaki's.  First few weeks, was love!  But after a month or so, dandruffs are starting to rear its ugly head again!  And you know what?  I am still using this because of the price and I feel guilty because my brother spent a lot for this.

So, AMW thought of a solution and so far, it's working.  I use this set alternately with Head & Shoulders!  No more dandruff and no more itchiness! *sigh*

Most of the time, I am not at all patient in finding solutions for products that do not work.  In this case, if the price is high, I will definitely find ways to make it work! 

Click comment and I'd love to hear your story!
Keep smilin'
Stay happy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

AMW Reports: Clinique's Youth Surge Event

When I got an invite from Ms. May Samson, Marketing Manager of Clinique, to discover  
Age Suspended, Time Interrupted 
I couldn't say no.  I am a big fan of anti-aging products!  Not because I am aging.....well, I actually am, but I am a big believer of starting up early to prevent signs of aging!  And of course, I couldn't pass the chance to meet Ms. May and other attendees invited to this event!

The event was held at the Intercontinental Hotel, and I was greeted with such a lovely set with a huge backdrop of my favorite skincare brand!


I am  amazed with the ice sculpture with the new Clinique's Youth Surge Night Age Decelerating Night Moisturizer and Youth Surge SPF 15 Age Decelerating Moisturizer.


Ms. Kaye Fidelino, the Brand manager of Clinique, opened the event with such optimistic outlook with Clinique's latest patent-pending de-aging treatment line - Youth Surge.


The lovely Patty Laurel hosted the event with such charm and excitement and I can't help but feel the excitement myself.  There was a great Q&A portion with Clinique's Asia Pacific Executive, who uses Clinique's Youth Surge himself!


And here's the 2 stars of the day!

Clinique scientists have found a revolutionary way to help optimize cellular regenration and restore youth to aging skin, intensifyinig the natural nightly cycle of repair.  Armed with this cutting edge reserach and ground-breaking knowledge of Sirtuins, naturally occurring youth extending agents found in the skin, Clinique has been able to create a comprehensive de-aging line for the woman looking to slow down the hands of time.

Clinique's Youth Surge SPF 15 Age Decelerating Moisturizer

Youth Surge SPF 15 Age Decelerating Moisturizer uses a unique-to-Clinique molecule, Isoniacinamide, which helps slow down the appearance of aging, optimize natural cellular repair and restore a youthful look to aging skin.  Used for the first time in Clinique's patent-pending Youth Surge SPF 15 Age Decelerating Moisturizer, this molecule works to help repair lines and wrinkles effectively and deliver visible results.

Suggested Retail Price: Php3,650 (approx $79.00)

Clinique's Youth Surge Night Age Decelerating Night Moisturizer

Youth Surge Night uses an exclusive blend of ingredients - Isoniacinamide and NADH - to help skin extend its natural cellular longevity and to optimize reparative functions, resulting in youthful looking skin.  Coupled with the powerful enzyme Micrococcus Lysate, these repair-boosting agents enhance skin's natural ability to combat damage that can accelerate the aging process.

The combination of energy molecules Adenosine Phosphate and Creatine help skin utilize its "fuel" in the efficient manner during the night when skin is more receptive to reparative treatment.

Suggested Retail Price: Php3,650 (approx $79.00)

Like I said, I enjoyed going to events because I get to meet old and new faces! It was great to see Lauren (photo below left side) again for the second time, I've met her at the GlamBox event and we were both lucky enough to have won the airbrush set. 

I also had the chance to chitchat with Liz (photo below right side) again!  The first time I met her was at the JnJ Body Care  Launch Event!  I love her outfit!  I can't help but gush over her lovely skirt!

Huge "hi" to Jane of Here's To Life!  I didn't have the chance to take a photo with her! :)


A dearest friend Phoebe was also there!  I love her outfit and her usual gorgeous haircut and hair color!  

And last but not the least!  I went to the event with the dearest friend  Beatrilicious!  I had a great lunch with her prior to this event and we had a nice frozen yogurt right after the event!  Girl bonding for sure!  Oh yeah, it was a day full of stories, laughters and meeting up new people!  Before I forget, the snacks they serve at the Intercontinental Hotel is wonderful! Salmon on wheat crackers, Bea's ultimate favorite!  I love the Chicken on stick by the way! :)


The event ended really well and I went straight for The Spa Experience right after.  Now, isn't it such a relaxing day? 

Have a wonderful day!
Keep smilin'

Stay happy!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

AMW Reviews: Mineraux Mulberry Organic Lip Color

I haven't use a lot of lip gloss products lately!  I am actually leaning towards moisturizing lipsticks instead as I like my lips a bit toned down.  My lips are quite picky with the lip products I use because of extreme dryness and weird fullness!  I actually prefer lip tints better on regular days.  That's why when Mineraux came out with an organic lip color that states to combine healing benefits plus nice lip color, I am game to give this a test!

Mineraux Mulberry Organic Lip Color says ---
Organic liquid lip colors that combine healing benefits and vibrant colors that last

Contains: Unrefined Shea Butter, Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, Organic Meadowfoam Oil, Candelilla Wax, Mica, Iron Oxides, and Tangerine Essential Oil

Size: 6ml

Available in:
Mulberry: Warm pink in sheer gloss
Red Chili: Reddish-pink in sheer gloss
Nectarine: Bronze-copper in high gloss
Grapefruit: Baby pink in sheer gloss
Maple: Pinkish brown in sheer gloss
Passion Fruit: Plum in sheer gloss

AMW says ---

  • very nice shade, not too overwhelming
  • does not dry the lips
  • looks very natural
  • ingredients are written all over the product, can easily check out ingredient list
  • non-sticky
  • does not leave a yucky film after removing lip color
  • since it works like a moisturizing lipstick, it lasts longer than regular gloss 
  • tested by drinking water and coffee, the lip color transfers a bit on cup but the color stays on lips!  Quite impressive!
  • the sticker packaging, I prefer the brand name printed, but it doesn't matter
  • if you are looking for a super glossy finish, this isn't the one
This is the first lip gloss packaged product that I've tried that doesn't have a "lip gloss" finish.  It looks like a moisturizing lipstick in a lipgloss bottle!  This product is very smooth and easy to apply.  I actually like this product because I have quite full lips and a very glossy lip gloss will enhance the fullness of my lips, so I actually like the subtle glow it gives instead of the "Hi!  My face consists of one huge lips" look!

The healing benefits of the lip color is too early to tell but I like the fact that my lips does not dry out every after usage.

  • if lips are extremely dry, exfoliate lips once or twice a week and leave with petroleum jelly or your favorite lip treatment
  • apply lip liner prior to this lip color application to make the lip color last longer
  • after every usage, I prefer wiping the wand with paper towel or cloth to prevent bacteria from growing
  • do not share lip gloss using the same wand to others, use a lip brush or applicator
Will I repurchase?

Where to purchase and how much?
At Mineraux website for Php400.00 (approx $8.70)
International readers, I believe the website accepts paypal payments, please email them at to check if they ship internationally or not

A close up on Mulberry on wand


Swatch on hand no base

on lips applied alone


I am intrigued to try Grapefruit shade because I'm on a pink mood lately!  
*huge smack* to everyone!
Have a wonderful day!

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!


Monday, February 22, 2010

AMW Reports: "The Spa" Purifying Moroccan Mud Therapy Experience

Happy Manic Monday people!!!  I had a wonderful week last week!  I promised everyone I will do a couple of reports for the stuff I've done! The highlight for the week was a spa therapy experience which was the best thing I've done because I haven't had any massages or spa treatments for almost a year!  I've been caught up with so many stuff and with such hectic schedule, the only time for myself is my "stay at home" personal treatment!  So this will be the first after many months for a real "me" time.  I want to thank Emily, the Marketing Executive of The Spa, for the invitation!

I visited The Spa, Greenbelt 1 branch for The Spa Purifying Moroccan Mud Therapy.  I am excited to try the treatment because it purifies and cleanses the skin as well as retain moisture, moisture retention - a magical phrase for dry skinned like myself!

I arrived 30 minutes earlier than my scheduled appointment, I was taken aback a bit with the nice "Greek"  ambiance, it looks intimidating at first but the wonderful smile from the staffs made me comfortable at once!  I felt like a goddess from America's Next Top Model walking towards the reception area!  A girl can work it out right? 

The waiting area is quite comfortable and you can sit down and relax while you wait to be called.  You can feel at ease too that your loved ones will be comfortable waiting for you  as you pamper yourself.

Wonders: "Who's that pretty lady sitting and waiting?" hahahaha

As I was called to go up for my treatment, I was told that the left side of the door are for males and the right side are for females.  There are also private rooms for couples!  I really like it!  I love privacy!  Not that I'm afraid of paparazzis!  I just want my privacy on semi-naked times like these! hahaha

Now let's talk about the treatment I tried!  It's called The Spa Purifying Moroccan Mud Therapy, a 60 minute treatment of pure bliss and relaxation.

Envelopment in a layer of warm mud enriched with pure volcanic-based minerals, increases pure wellness by reducing muscle aches and pains, balancing the whole body system to promote beauty from the inside and the body's skin to a youthful optimum health.  Your body will surely radiate and achieve a delightful sense of utter renewal and well being.

I had a quick shower first then went for a relaxing sauna to calm my tired muscles from a whole day's activities.  The treatment started by spraying and brushing my entire body.  I was a bit hesitant with exfoliation but this scrubbing was done with such gentle hands that I nearly fell asleep.
Afterwards, my whole body was applied with warm mud that's mixed with the rassoul powder.  The warm mud application stimulates and releases impurities as the skin absorbs enriching minerals which makes the body radiates healthy glow as it deeply hydrates it.  I was then wrapped with a plastic sheet and fleece blanket cocoon style for approximately 15 minutes accompanied with a relaxing scalp massage.  A quick note from author, if you are claustrophobic, do let the staffs know as this treatment may overwhelm you!
After the wrapping process was done, I was unwrapped and asked to soak in a hi-tech jacuzzi bath which  made me feel like a princess with bubbles that I can play with! :)  I had another quick shower after and while my body was still damp, the application of body moisturizer was done for finishing touch.  I like the fact that my whole body does not feel greasy at all!

I am very particular with post treatment area.  I want a relaxing place to change, to dry my hair, to have some retouch and The Spa definitely passed my watchful eyes and OC-ness with flying colors!  Some simple amenities like body lotion, powder, blowdryer combs and brushes are available and I love the fact that their combs and brushes are well sanitized.

Relaxed and recharged after the treatment.  Even the hubby said I look refreshed!


Check out The Spa website for more services. They have branches at Trinoma, Bel-Air, Greenbelt, Alabang, Acropolis and The Fort.

The Purifying Moroccon Mud Therapy costs Php1,900 (approx $41.00) for non-members and Php1,700 (approx $37.00) for members.  It looks quite pricey but the relaxation and the experience is worth it!  I will definitely come back and invite my mom for a special QT (quality time).

Have you had a luxurious body treatment?
Willing to try?

Thanks again to the people of The Spa for making this such a relaxing experience!

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!