Monday, February 28, 2011

The Flavors and Benefits Behind Your Favorite Tea

The Chinese invented Tea.  I am Chinese, I should know everything about tea! Well, I am no expert on tea but I do have my fair share of tea tasting!  I do drink tea on a daily basis and I've tried so many brands of tea both sold in China, Hong Kong and locally!



My knowledge on tea was enhanced when I worked in China for a good 3 years.  Most of my students who were older than me would treat me for a tea session after class to show me the beauty of tea-making, at the same time, its a healthy way of bonding and learning about their culture.

I used to know only 3 types of teas ---
  • Black/Red Tea - I learned this because my dad used to be in a restaurant business and most Chinese restaurants serve black tea.  (Did you know that?  Some restaurants uses black tea in dissolving oily plates prior to washing them with soap and water?)
  • Green Tea - my favorite among all types of tea because of its "light taste" plus the fact that it helps digestion!  Most Japanese restaurants locally serves green tea!  I heard from my friends in China that green tea helps you lose weight too!  *wow* (but don't take my word for it, eating right and exercising is still the best!)
  • Oolong Tea - I used to despise this tea because it's really strong to taste and I heard this has stronger caffeine content which means, I cannot drink this during night time.  Recently though, my brother gifted me another tea from China and I am starting to love this!  I drink this daily during office hours.

Times have changed and as technology gets better, our types of teas are growing in number as well.
  • Black Tea - usually have strong robust flavor
  • Green Tea - milder taste, does not go through oxidation
  • Oolong Tea - has slightly fruity, peach aroma and flavor.  Shorter oxidation than Black Tea.
  • Flavored Tea - same with black tea but has fruit/spice flavors.
  • White Tea - buds are plucked once a year, withered and dried.
  • Infusions - produced from plants, fruits and spices.  Goes through different manufacturing process than usual tea.
Just like most regular human being who gets tired of same flavors, I love to mix my tea with lemon/calamansi and my favorite for the moment, dried rose petals from my brother dear who bought it in China.  I heard these rose petals are good for the skin!


How I wish I get different flavored teas on regular tea bags for ease of drinking!  There are times I don't like the feel of tea leaves and dried flowers against my lips as I drink it straight from the mug, using a tea pot is an option but I get too lazy!


I used to purchase flavored teabags at Duty Free Philippines and opted for a warm cup of tea after a meal in a restaurant!  My favorite flavor is Twinings Green Tea and Lemon and Twinings Pure Flowers of Camomile!  I used to purchase them in boxes because it's a habit of mine to drink a cup of tea after dinner!  My secret to getting hungry again after every meal!  *laughs*

I'm glad tea makers are creating new flavors and combination for our favorite tea!  Just like Twinings...




Twinings Camomile Herbal Infusion
Camomile is the main ingredient of this tea and as we all know, Camomile is widely used to help relieve indigestion.  My mom told me her mom used to make her drink Camomile tea every night before she goes to bed as it can help her relax.

Twinings Four Red Fruits Flavored Black Tea (another favorite of mine)
Four Red Fruits included are strawberries, cherries, redcurrants and raspberries.  These berries are known to be good sources of Vitamin C!  These berries are more than just pretty colors!  Based on research, berries are known to contain phytochemicals and flavanoids, these 2 are known to help prevent certain forms of cancer.  As if those above benefits weren't enough, berries are also known to help reduce body fat!  Now isn't it high time to chuck those sugary drinks and have a cup of tea?

Twinings' Raspberry and Echinacea Infusion
Echinacea can stimulate the immune system!  A good immune system can help fight off infections and common colds! If you feel like you're starting to get the sniffles, this is the best tea variant for you!

 Twinings Green Tea and Mint

There is something about mint-flavored drink that can ease you up on a stressful day!  There is no doubt that mints are used to refresh the mouth and at the same time ease up the throat from dry coughs and sore throat.   Modern science has also validated the advantages of mint in digestion as it can relax the muscles in the intestines.  I suggest taking a cup of this in the middle of long, stressful work day!

 Twinings Apple, Cinnamon and Raisin Flavored Black Tea
"An apple a day can keep the doctors away" --- this saying has been around for a long time!   It stands true!  Apples are rich source of antioxidants which are also known to help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma and diabetes.  On the other hand, Cinnamon, a spice is known for its flavorful taste!  Aside from using them on desserts or dishes, it can actually help people control their blood sugar levels and significantly lower "bad" cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides!  Last but not the least, Raisins, - are obtained by drying grapes, either in sun or in driers are good source of energy.  These tiny fruits can help relieve constipation as they are rich in fibers.  I strongly recommend this tea variant to my mom and dad!

I have always been a coffee person, but when I was advised to drink lesser coffee, I leaned on to drinking more water and tea!  Tea obviously has more benefits!  Regardless of the chosen blend, tea can perk me up in the morning, help sooth and relax my muscles at night, hydrates my body and replenish lost body fluids on days I want my water to be flavorful!  And the best part, some types of tea are also known to lower cholesterol, prevent certain types of cancer and help lose body fat!

If those aren't positive enough, then I don't know how it's called!  :)

I, will still enjoy my "regimen" when it comes to tea mixing, on lazy days that I'm in the office and I want a fuss-free tea mixture, I will definitely choose from the wide range of Twinings' tea blends.

For more information on Twinings and teas, visit www.twinings.com.ph.

Do you enjoy the benefits of tea?
After reading the advantages of tea variants, what's your type of tea?

Keep smilin'
Stay Happy!


AMW Reviews: Beautymaker Oil-Free and Moisturizing 2-Way Foundation

Kevin Beautymaker
Is it a person or a brand?  It's actually both!  I heard about this brand and person 5 years ago as I love watching the Taiwanese beauty show called "Queen/Nv Ren Wo Zui Da".  

Kevin is a famous make-up artist and beauty adviser in this show.  People in Japan, Hong Kong and Korea love and trust his products because Kevin of the said TV show.  Kevin aside from being the "guru" in this show has also come up with beauty books and has written in magazines to teach women how to take care of their skin and how to put on make-up thus making him popular around Asia.

I've always been looking around for Kevin Beautymaker products from Ebay but failed to purchase any due to expensive shipping prices!  When a reader Bon, emailed me about her multiply site, I checked her site right away and found that she sells a lot of Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese make up and skin care products which a lot are "quite in demand"!

One of the brand I want to covet is Kevin Beautymaker.   I checked on the album and saw quite an intriguing product.  I usually stay away from anything Oil-Free because it meant "dryness" for me!  I got a little confused when I saw a 2-way foundation that has Oil-free and Moisturizing in its name!  I must give this a try!  I want to have an inexpensive alternative for my favorite P&J Dual Powder Foundation anyways.


Kevin Beautymaker Oil-Free and Moisturizing 2-Way Foundation says ---
Hi-tech elastic water-retaining powder particles, holding on tight to water molecules, seamlessly attached to the skin and forming a summer as if light and clear of a pristine skin quality, capable of sedating and moisturizing skin for the long haul.  The light power foundation that keeps skin soft and tender all day long.

Made in Taiwan
Ingredients: (you can click photo to enlarge)

Shades available:
AMW says ---
Pros
  • Wrapped quite well for safe transit.
  • Packaged in a simple white compact which looks clean and nice.
  • The sponge that comes with the compact is made of good quality.  Does not tear up easily and can be easily washed.
  • Has manufactured date so you can gauge on how old the product is or when the expiration date is.
  •  The sponge area has holes or vents to make the sponge "breathe".
  • Gives light to medium (dry application) or even heavy coverage (wet application).
  • Can be used wet or dry.
  • Gives a nice coverage, looks very natural both in person and on photos.
  • Gives a nice control on the areas that oil-up and moisturizes the area that dries up.
  • No skin flakings.
  • No skin irritations.
  • Product has no weird scent.
Cons
  • Limited choice of shades!
  • The packaging is quite huge!  
  • Difficult to find your right shade especially if you're online buying!
  • Some products are not readily available so you have to wait for weeks.
  • No SPF.
Overall
Gives a nice, natural look minus the cake-y feel.

Tips
  • If you chose to use this dry, use it dry all the way.  If you prefer to apply this wet, apply with wet method all the way!
  • Do not drop the product to prevent the mirror or the powder from cracking.
  • Use a k-brush (kabuki brush) for light and very natural coverage.
  • Use a sponge and press gently onto face for medium to heavy coverage.
  • Sensitive skin may need to test the product on the lower chin area or under the ear to make sure no skin irritations will occur.
  • If you have dry and flakey skin, moisturize your skin properly prior to usage.
  • Do not forget your sunblock as this product does not contain any SPF.
Will I repurchase? 
Yes!

To whom do I recommend this to?
Anyone who is into powder foundation.  Whether you have dry, combination, normal or oily skin.  

Where to purchase and how much?
At wehaveit43.multiply.com or visit them at their store in Banawe. The product costs Php900.00 (approx $21.00) plus shipping.  They also sell various BB Creams like L'egere and BRTC!

You can also visit their shop called ---
Wang Lai Mart
876-D Banawe St. Barangay Siena, QC
(Beside Hap Chan Restaurant)
Tel. no: (632) 749-1264
Open hours: Mondays to Saturdays 9:30am to 9:00pm

A sheet of paper written in all Chinese included inside the box.

 Do not fret, the box has English translations at the back portion

Plain white packaging 

 The size as compared to IPhone 3GS
Kevin Beautymaker is a bit bigger


The thickness of the phone and the foundation 
is almost the same

I chose the darkest shade which is no. 3 Natural
 

A closer look on the sponge that comes with the compact

Do not do this in public!  *laughs*


Have you heard about Kevin Beautymaker?
Have you tried any of his products?
What's the best?

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!







(Note from Author: Product sent as gift.  The author is not affiliated with the company. All information written are based solely on author's personal experiences.  Please purchase at your own discretion.)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Something New: Estee Lauder Time Zone Night

If you are still in high school or college, you can skip this post because this has nothing to do with you!  Well, not unless you have wrinkles from all those late-night studying!  *laughs*

I have heard so much about Estee Lauder Skin care and how a lot of our mom's friends or relatives who swore by the brand!  I've been to one of their event and I've seen their loyal customers!  A lot of them!

Well, I'll be turning 32 soon (exactly tomorrow), I may have to look into anti-wrinkle creme more than a couple of years ago!  There's one that I got for Christmas in which I told my mom-in-law I'll be sharing with her!  

Estee Lauder in 2009, re-invented their anti-wrinkle moisturizer with Time Zone.  Estee Lauder introduces New Time Zone Night Anti-line/Wrinkle Creme, a powerful formula that works to hydrate skin and says to dramatically reduce the look of lines and wrinkles for radiant, younger-looking skin!

Natural Photoshop?  I hope so!


The New Time Zone Night Anti-Line/Wrinkle Creme has exclusive Sirtuin EX-1 Technology which says to help skin naturally stimulate its proteins hence helps in skin cell renewal.


As for the texture, the creme has been designed to suit all skin types.  It also has a light, modern nighttime signature scent with top notes of lilac, freesia, and pink marshmallow, tempered with a heart of white orchid, purple iris, and lily of the valley.  These are comfortable enough to relax us for bedtime.

The product is best applied every night after your skin care regimen. 


New Time Zone Night Anti-Line/Wrinkle Creme arrives at Estee Lauder counters this month for Php4,250 (approx. $99.00) for 50ml. 

I will share half of this with my mom-in-law and I'll give this a try myself once in awhile too!  I'll report back once I've seen some results!  (the good and the bad!)

Anyone an Estee Lauder skin care line user?
Keep smilin'
Stay happy!



Weekend Food Tripping at: Matsuri

Like I said weekend ago, my birthday starts Monday ends on my Birthday itself.  The more I grew older, the more birthday celebrations I am celebrating!  I am not complaining though, its a great reason to meet up with friends or people who touched your lives!

I am glad I got to check Ensogo a couple of weeks ago as I saw a very good deal from a Japanese Restaurant Matsuri!  The regular buffet price is Php595.00 (approx $13.80) and I bought it for Php299.00 (approx $6.95).  I bought the maximum of 5 coupons right away and actually planned to use it for my mom-in-law's birthday!  Since they were booked then, I booked it for my birthday celebration with the family instead! 

Buffet at Matsuri is actually good!  You get the menu, order the dishes you like, finish them up and you can re-order again as long as you finish the dishes!  I think we tried almost all the dishes available for the buffet menu!  No, we're not THAT hungry! :P

Matsuri on a quiet Monday night...


Tamago
Egg Omelette
My sister-in-law's favorite!  I think she ordered 3 plates of this?  I can understand them, egg-lovers would love these dearly!

 Dynamite Roll and Philadelphia Roll
Dynamite roll has spicy tuna included inside while Philadelphia roll has cream cheese!  
I am not a fan of both as I've tried better tasting from Teriyaki Boy and Omakase.

 Sanma
Seasoned Pacific Saury
I can't say much about this as I did not taste this!  Hahaha, the family thought it tastes just like regular "gigi" fish (mackerel?)!  *laughs*

Creamy Chicken Mushroom Ragout
 Grilled boneless chicken topped with assorted Japanese mushrooms 
and asparagus and creamy Champignon Sauce.  
This is quite unique, best eaten with rice!  I like the unique blend of diced chicken and Japanese Mushrooms!


Shrimp Tempura
The shrimp tempura served are quite huge and clean!  I am very particular with the shrimp itself!  Most restaurants do not clean their shrimps and I like the fact that this restaurant does!  The tempura sauce always comes in late but the family loved to munch on this while removing excess batter.
 

  Tonkatsu
Panko Crusted Pork Tenderloin
 Can't go wrong with this crunchy pork Tonkatsu!  Tastes really good!

 Matsuri Steak 
Served in tiny amount but worth the wait and worth to order again!  We ordered 3 plates of these as the steak is really soft and tasty!  Served with beansprouts.

Spicy Gyuniku Nikomi
Braised beef stew with Togarashi
The beef slice is quite huge, included are noodles, tofu and vegetables.
Also best eaten with rice. 

Gyu Chiisu Aspara, Kani Bacon Maki Teriyaki, Aspara Bacon Maki Teriyaki,
Yakitori Teriyaki and Tebasaki Teriyaki
I am not surprised that all of them tastes great!  My favorite is the Aspara Bacon maki Terikayaki!
All grilled to perfection.

Various Deserts ---
Muscovado and Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee
Chocolate Ice Cream
Various fruits 
Leche Flan



Mondays to Fridays (Lunch) = Php495.00 (approx $11.50)
Mondays to Sundays (Dinner) = Php595.00 (approx $13.80)
Saturdays and Sundays (Lunch and Dinner) = Php595.00 (approx $13.80)

No leftover policy, no service charge.  Restaurant accepts cash and credit card payments.
Children below 4ft. Php295.00 (approx $6.85)
Leftover amount is Php250.00 (approx $5.80)

Matsuri 
233 Tomas Morato cor. E. Lopez Jr., 
Near ABS-CBN Compound
Quezon City, Metro Manila
Philippines
(632) 376-6351

I enjoyed my birthday food tripping!  More to come!
How's your weekend food tripping?  Are you dining out?

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!



Saturday, February 26, 2011

AMW Reviews: Mentholatum Lip Ice Color Lip balm

Teenagers nowadays are lucky in every way!  From technology to as simple as lip balms!  I can still remember my mom telling me how much she wants to have her lips "colored" and her mom was very strict about it so she ended up using crayons!  (I must have gotten a bit of that genes..LOL)

During my time, I remember wanting the lip balms that my classmates use, one swipe --- nice pinkish lips!

I've longed for those but I don't have the money to purchase one!  I've ended up purchasing those inexpensive ones that tastes like melted plastic!   The things I do to have a nice hint of color on my lips!

Nowadays, I've been seeing more and more tinted lip balm that are priced just right and works really well!  I wish we have them decades ago! 

The Mentholatum Lip Ice Color Lip Balm

Lip Ice Color Lip balm says ---
  • Gives natural and lovely color for soft and beautiful lips.
  • A super moist retention formula with water microsphere and AcHA (Sodium Acetyl Hyaluronate).
  • Contains Vitamin E, Lanolin Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Mango Seed Butter to keep your lips soft and moisturized.
  • SPF15 for UV Protection
Available in: Candy Apple, Pretty Pink and Sweet Rose

AMW says ---
Pros
  • Gives out a very pretty shade of reds or pinks depending on the variant you choose.
  • Glides on easily on lips.
  • Packaging is sleek.
  • No weird scent.
  • Gives out a nice "glitter" that is not too chunky!
  • Gives a nice 3-dimensional look of your lips because of the various shades of tiny specks or glitters.
  • Has SPF 15!
  • Inexpensive
Cons
  • Since the product is housed in a very slim packaging, it is very easy to finish up the product!
  • Limited shades available.
  • Moisture power is not enough for super dry lips.
Overall
A very nice tinted lip moisturizer that looks like you have naturally good, colored lips!

Tips
  • Store in cool, dry place.
  • Do not twist the product too much to prevent breakage during application.
  • If you have very dry lips, choose to prep your lips with a really good lip balm prior to application of the Lip Ice Color Lip balm.
  • Re-apply as much as needed as this has moisturizing properties which makes the color glides off easily.
Will I repurchase?
Yes!

To whom do I recommend this to?
From teens to adults!  This is a great start up lipstick that youngsters can play with as the price isn't bad and the quality is good!

Where to purchase and how much?
Available at Watson's or Beauty by SM for Php125.00 (approx $2.90).

Sweet Rose on hand

Sweet Rose on lips without lip balm


What's your first tinted lip balm?
I can't seem to remember mine!  It tastes so bad it crashed my memory! :P

Keep smilin'
Stay happy!



Friday, February 25, 2011

Eureka Moment: Big Time Make-Up Storage

If you are fond of reading beauty blogs and watching YouTube videos on beauty.  You probably knew about this "storage system" Makeup Gurus are going gaga for!  I remembered wanting this myself and imagined what I will put in here!  Back-ups probably?

I may be late with my Eureka Moment but I finally found them locally!  At Handyman (Ronbinson's Otis Branch) for Php2,500 (approx $59.50)

As colorful as my life is, I actually prefer the white frost version as we all know, most of our make-up are colorful and I like to see a bit on what's inside without sliding the drawer outwards!

The aluminum frame makes the drawer quite stable!  I like the fact that I can put a sticker and label them by Foundation, Powders, Blushers, Lipsticks, etc...

The negative part that I can say for now is that dust can easily get inside!


Still, its nice to see them available locally! The price maybe shocking at first glance but come to think of it, I've been purchasing so many storage stuffs and it actually boils down to paying as much as this drawer!

I gave this a pass for now as I currently own a 5 layered plastic drawer where I store all my back-ups!  If you don't own one and you plan to, this is one product to consider! 

What's your make-up storage?
Keep smilin'
Stay happy



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