Maria's Kitchen At Night

/ Sunday, December 10, 2017
I've done a previous post about one of my favorite burger spots in Allen: Maria's Kitchen. You can read that one on this link:

Silly me, I didn't know that this place is open until 9:00 PM! 
I love how this place feels quiet and "tucked away", moreso at nighttime. It's off the main highway so you won't hear any vehicles bustling around. Like I said before, Maria's Kitchen's garden-like location makes it unique, and lovely.

#ChillOut
While waiting for our food, we kept busy with our own pursuits. Daughter got caught up with that lego-like thing (which she always always fusses with whenever we come here), husband has that game on his phone, and I grabbed a Paolo Caoelho book from their collection (they have lots of books).

We could have ventured on a seat on one of those tables outside, under the umbrella but it's quiet cold this time of the year so we decided to stay close to the counter. :)

The entrance at Maria's Kitchen.
I'd like to think that this clay jar is the main reason why she loves coming back to Maria's Kitchen. :)
Okay, maybe she loves the swing too!
I failed to take photos of our orders, sorry. Must be the hunger. ;) We arrived at nearly 9:00 so they no longer had burgers, just sandwiches. I would've wanted to sample their halo-halo too, but no such luck. Maybe next time? We had ham and cheese sandwiches, a mango shake for daddy and cucumber juice for me. And who could forget the fries. Even if the mango shake was tangy, my daughter loved it. the cucumber juice is refreshing, as always.
The counter.
We always look forward to coming to Maria's Kitchen. Which reminds me, next time if we decide to come at night, I would lather on some mosquito repellent lotion 'coz they bite. 

Lastly, I just can't say XO without sharing our selfie. :)
XO,
Carissa
I've done a previous post about one of my favorite burger spots in Allen: Maria's Kitchen. You can read that one on this link:

Silly me, I didn't know that this place is open until 9:00 PM! 
I love how this place feels quiet and "tucked away", moreso at nighttime. It's off the main highway so you won't hear any vehicles bustling around. Like I said before, Maria's Kitchen's garden-like location makes it unique, and lovely.

#ChillOut
While waiting for our food, we kept busy with our own pursuits. Daughter got caught up with that lego-like thing (which she always always fusses with whenever we come here), husband has that game on his phone, and I grabbed a Paolo Caoelho book from their collection (they have lots of books).

We could have ventured on a seat on one of those tables outside, under the umbrella but it's quiet cold this time of the year so we decided to stay close to the counter. :)

The entrance at Maria's Kitchen.
I'd like to think that this clay jar is the main reason why she loves coming back to Maria's Kitchen. :)
Okay, maybe she loves the swing too!
I failed to take photos of our orders, sorry. Must be the hunger. ;) We arrived at nearly 9:00 so they no longer had burgers, just sandwiches. I would've wanted to sample their halo-halo too, but no such luck. Maybe next time? We had ham and cheese sandwiches, a mango shake for daddy and cucumber juice for me. And who could forget the fries. Even if the mango shake was tangy, my daughter loved it. the cucumber juice is refreshing, as always.
The counter.
We always look forward to coming to Maria's Kitchen. Which reminds me, next time if we decide to come at night, I would lather on some mosquito repellent lotion 'coz they bite. 

Lastly, I just can't say XO without sharing our selfie. :)
XO,
Carissa
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Even if the beauty world has been stormed over by the liquid lipstick trend, the classic lip bullet has firmly held its ground and remains a favorite. Personally, I think there's something exciting about twisting the bullet and seeing the column of color easing out. That's my kind entertainment right there. LOL. 

So, I "walked" down the hallowed aisles of Watsons over the weekend and eyed some discounted products at the Revlon counter. I had the option of getting just one liquid lippie or one bullet because, budget.  Obviously, I went for the bullet one. I even picked an iconic shade because I want tried and tested stuff that never goes out of style.
Let's take a look.

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick
Shade: 720 Fire & Ice
Finish: Creme
Price: Regular Php 350.00 but I got it for Php 262.00
Where I Got It: Watsons Save More Tacloban

About The Product
Make a statement with the world’s most iconic lipstick. Super Lustrous™ is formulated with microfine pigments for high-impact color. The smooth, moisturizing formula is available in 82 on-trend shades and four finishes – crème, matte, pearl and sheer.
Image source: www.revlon.com
This poster here, featuring the beautiful Dorian Leigh is from Revlon's Fire and Ice Campaign in 1952. You read that right. This shade has been in existence since the 50's. There were other shade options, although not all 82 of them were available at my local Watsons, but I opted for this one because I was so intrigued. So, is it worth the hype?
Ingredients, labels


Swatch
Fire & Ice is a coral-pink red.
Swatches of Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Fire and Ice//Top: Without flash//Bottom: With flash
In Action
That's me, wearing the lipstick with different lighting. But it brightens my face on both occasions. :)

About two hours into wearing this and you can see slight fading on the lower lip.
My Take
Pigmentation is great. With just one coat you get a good coverage but I love putting on two coats for added drama. For a more natural look, you can just apply it with a light hand and blot it out to create a stain.

Formula is also good. It applies real smoothly. I've never had any issues with application. It just melts like butter on contact with the lips. I have also never experienced any dryness while wearing it or after taking it off. 

A creme formula lipstick will always have staying power as one of its weaknesses. So yes, this one transfers. If you eat and drink while wearing this, expect that you will be left behind with a coral-orange-y stain on your lips so a touch-up would be necessary. But if you don't eat or drink too much, it still looks lovely even up to three hours. I'm not complaining here though; I knew what I was getting into when I bought this lippie. Not all of us have the will power to wear matte on a daily basis. This is how I give my lips a breather. :)

For those who are wondering if it is scented, well...I've been really trying hard to find out if what kind of scent it has because it's very very very faint. The closest description that I have is chocolate-y orange. But real faint; it's almost like it's never there and you won't even notice the scent while wearing it.

For all this talk about pigmentation and formula, it still boils down to one thing: does the color fit me? 'Coz nice formulas can fly outta the window if the color doesn't look lovely on me. Well, I think my photos can speak for themselves. It flatters and it brightens. And it also looks lovely on different skin tones as I have asked some girlfriends to try it out. It registers more orangey on other skin tones.

If you are looking for red lipstick that doesn't suck the life outta your lips, this lippie is certainly worth the try. It is very affordable at Php 350.00 so it's not like you could loose an arm. I even got it at 25% off so, lucky me!
I hope Revlon is still on sale until the end of the year because I would really love to have a light pink shade in this creamy formula.

If you have other questions about this lippie, feel free to drop a comment below.

XO,
Carissa

Hours of roaming around Robinsons Place Tacloban brought us to DAWG HOUSE. We were 3 PM hungry (our legs were tired too) and my brother said that he'd like to treat  us to a Monster Burger. :) Who would say no to a burger of a monster?
The brother, looking all smug with my beautiful mama.
This is Dawg House's kiosk and you can probably deduce from the photos that the space is quiet tight. If all the seats would be taken it would be hard to move round but luckily we were the only patrons at that time so we managed to feel comfortable.
At the counter.
The Menu
Here's a closer look at what they're serving. They're pretty affordable. Sorry if the prices are a bit blurred but they're mostly on two digits and some are on three digits so you probably get the idea.

 Lemonade and Iced Tea were our choice of drinks.
My sister and my mama, btw.
And the infamous Monster Burger took center stage. It's as wide as a medium sized pizza! It's good for 3 to 4 moderate eaters. 
The Monster Burger//Price: Php 299.00 (USD 5.95)
I could make use of a thicker patty but I'm cool with this one. Those fries were also on the layer, along with some cheese, tomatoes, onions and cabbage. I think the bun made such a huge difference. It's not just a regular generic bun; you can tell that it's been specially made. It's soft and flavorful and I would gladly eat just the bun if it came to that. It was a filling meal so we were really satisfied.

Dawg House says that it has "Mean Dawgs. Nice Buns". Well, I can attest to the niceness of the buns.

I'm so looking forward to trying a dawg next time; maybe that Chili Cheese Dog or a Sloppy Joe perhaps.

XO,
Carissa
Here's the situation: hunger strikes while you're at the office at three pm and you just need to find a way to fill your tummy. Luckily, we have a few food spots close to our office and since there's not much work to do in the PM, we took our break. Yes! You don't have to be too hard on yourself. Life is short. Ha ha. Anyway, we had a zumba session scheduled at 5 PM; it would be very hard for me to lead with an empty stomach.

We ended up at Sarah's. It's relatively new (opened like two or 3 months ago) and both of my companions have not tried their food yet. I've been here for like three times so I pretty much have an idea about their servings.
The Place
So...welcome to Sarah's. The structure is pretty much native meets modern. There's a second level but it could be hot up there at 3 PM so we opted for the ground floor. I've been here at night and the place looks great when it's fully illuminated. It wasn't rush hour yet so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
Thanks Ate Annie, for making us libre. 
The Menu
Here are your meal options at Sarah's. There are lots of options actually, based on this spread. But the order taker informed us that some of the meals are not available at the moment. Oops!
The menu at Sarah's 
We decided on pancit because,  admit it guys, Filipinos really love this noodle meal in general. It's present at almost any occasion on this part of the world; it's as popular as fried chicken and lechon. It's symbolic of having a long life so it's a must at birthdays. Who can go wrong with pancit? :)

Yung tamang kain lang bago mag zumba.
This is the Bihon Guisado or Chinese Style Pancit in a platter which comes at Php 165.00. I'll make Ate Annie the model here because she bankrolled the eating spree. He he. We also ordered the House Blend Tea in a pitcher which is priced at Php 65.00. It's enough for three to 4 persons. I'm always concerned about ordering iced tea that tastes like the powdered ones like Nestea but thankfully their House Blend doesn't taste that way. I can taste the tangy lemon and maybe honey used as sweetener. It also has a little bit of bitterness in it but it's a subtle level. Or maybe it's just me?  :) 
The obligatory photo before eating. ;)
We also ordered Aloha burgers - just two- because three would have been too much. ;) We actually took home (or to the office) more than half of the pancit because we couldn't consume all of it.

How Was The Experience?
Despite us being the only customers at that time, our orders still took time to arrive. Maybe around 25 minutes. Our pancit arrived first and the platter order was sizeable. Like I said, we couldn't consume the entire order. It would be good for 5 to 6 persons, if they eat moderately like we did. :D It was pancit like any other tho. There's nothing particularly mesmerizing about it but it tasted good. It was the same for the Aloha Burger. I've made a blog post about another local burger joint in Allen and it's hard not to make comparisons. LOL. Presentation makes an impact though, I guess it lacked with the "wow factor" when you see the food for the first time. 
But anyway, there are lots and lots and lots of food options at Sarah's so it's hard to make a judgement of all of their food when I've tasted just a few of them, right? 
I hope I get to try their KTV; I just don't know if it's currently fully operational na.

Sarah's is located along Magallanes St, Brgy. Sabang Zone II, Allen, Northern Samar; just right across the bend leading to the BALWHARTECO Ferry Terminal.

XO,
Carissa
My latest order from Sample Room arrived over the weekend. Thank God I was able to order ahead of the ASEAN Summit days, otherwise I would've had to wait a week more or two to receive my samples.
Here they are!

Vitress Hair Polish (Strengthening)
What is it?
"Vitress Hair Polish Strengthening is a light, non-greasy hairstyling cream that smoothens down fly-away hair as it deeply penetrates each layer of hair strands for intense moisturization without the sticky feeling. Powered with Vita Strength Formula, it also helps tame frizz and prevents split ends and breakage keeping your hair healthy, strong, shiny, and silky smooth anytime, anywhere."

FULL SIZES: 50ml PRICES: PHP 39.00
SAMPLE SIZE: 1 pc. 50 ml (full-sized)

Ingredients
This'll come as handy as my hair is currently in a curly and frizzy state. Well, I'm already a fan of their Hair Cuticle Coat, so I've had high hopes about this product. True enough it really helps smooth out my frizzy hair without the greasy feel. In my case though, since my hair is naturally dry and curly, it doesn't hold for long. This is great though, for those moments when I tie my hair into a sleek bun or a pony tail since it helps in keeping down those strays.

Belo Intensive Whitening Micropeeling Toner
What Does It Do?
The power of Kojic Acid + Traxenamic Acid in one intensive whitening toner. With micropeeling technology that gently clears away dead skin without visible peeling and flaking.
- Exfoliates skin to allow the whitening actives to penetrate deeper
- Reduces the appearance of stubborn dark spots
- Eliminates impurities, dirt, and makeup residue
- Paraben-free. Non-comedogenic. Hypoallergenic.

FULL SIZES: 60 ml PRICES: PHP 79.75
SAMPLE SIZE: 1 pc. 60 ml

Details/Ingredients
I've used this a couple of times and I can say that my complexion is clearing up without visible peeling and flaking. It also doesn't sting and it helps in taking out the dirt and residue that is left behind after cleansing. I'd have to observe longer though to find out if it can really help reduce the appearance of dark spots.

Dentiste’ Whitening Toothpaste
What Is It? What Does It Do?
Uniquely combined with 14 natural extracts, anti-staining agents, and nano-hydroxyapatite formula, Dentiste’ Whitening Toothpaste is effective not only at removing and preventing stain disposition, but also at restoring the natural whiteness and gloss of teeth in a safe and natural way.

With regular brushing twice a day, Dentiste’ Whitening Toothpaste provides the following:
- Whiter teeth in 2 weeks
- Increases teeth protection against painful sensitivity
- Fights cavities, plaque, tartar, and Gingivitis
- Fresher breath

FULL SIZES: 50g PRICE: PHP 255.00
SAMPLE SIZE: 1 pc. 50g (full-sized)

Details/Ingredients
This is the product in this bunch that I am most thrilled to try out. I've had these stains on my front teeth and I'd like find out if this toothpaste can really help remove it. I'll make a separate post about that in the future.

***
That's about it. 
This whole loot would have cost me Php 374.00 but I got them for free. Thanks Sample Room! I only paid Php 150.00 for the shipping fee.

Visit www.sampleroom.ph for more details on how you can score your own free products.

XO,
Carissa
Here's a review of the PSALMSTRE New Placenta Herbal Beauty Soap. 
Price: Php 55.00
Where I Got It: Mercury Drug
Also available at: Drugstores, Grocery Stores and Department Stores nationwide

I don't know if there are fakes of this product but just to be sure, make sure that you purchase ones with this tag.
The other side of the box.
What Is It? What Does It Do?
A herbal beauty soap that contains plant-based placenta extracts and goat's milk for faster skin lightening and anti-aging results.
Ingredients
For a complete list of how it works, refer to this leaflet.
Expiry date is printed on the box.
Up Close
See here. There's nothing really remarkable about how the soap looks like. It's just similar to a bar of Perla. It's just white; there are no fancy marks nor engraves. BTW, I'm sorry if the bar looks small, this is not the actual size. I'd already cut the bar in half when I took this photo. It's 90 grams in weight and it also came with a freebie which is a smaller version of this herbal soap.

My Take
This isn't the first time that I used this product. I may have already consumed like four or 5 of this in the past. And I keep coming back because I like it and my skin likes it. Hiyang ako. It has a light floral-milky scent. I know the horror of having whitening bath soaps that sting and thankfully I have not experienced that with this product. It lathers well and effectively takes off the oiliness of my face and the grime on my skin.

I have no wrinkles yet but it's good to hear that it helps fight aging. I love how soft and smooth my skin feels after using this. It also doesn't dry me up. I have observed also that it causes micro peeling so there's really some exfoliation going on. It also promises to fight bacteria and I'll say that it helps in calming pimples.

There's also a whitening claim and to be honest, I am not someone who is obsessed about whitening. There's a certain color of my skin that I like to maintain: just a balanced tone that doesn't make me look too white. That being said, whenever I feel like I need to lighten up a bit, I reach for this one and yes, it does help in lightening my skin tone. But not the gluta-level na light, ah. Tama lang.

If you're looking for an affordable anti-aging and lightening soap you can give this a try.

Have you experienced using this soap? Do share your experience in the comment box below.

XO,

Carissa

But who could forget? I still get chills when I think about November 8, 2013.

Four years after Yolanda and here I am, hundreds of miles away from where it happened. But somehow, memories of her still have a way of unnerving me.

If I were in Burauen right now, no doubt, my family and I would be reminiscing about so many memories, good and bad, from November 8, 2013.

We'll be talking about wondering why November 7, 2013 was declared as a non-working day, in preparation of Yolanda's arrival. Who prepares for a typhoon? Aren't we Warays kind of used to that stuff already? 

We'll talk about the fried chicken that we cooked on night of the 7th, in preparation for our breakfast the following day. We also had a loaf of bread ready. Surely those would be enough to get us through  the 8th. Surely we can easily buy food afterwards. We know the drill; we've encountered enough typhoons in the past. 

We'll talk about huddling in our parent's bedroom at 5 am of the 8th, knowing that Yolanda has arrived,  winds not too strong yet. To quote my youngest brother "Asya ini it super typhoon?", seemingly unimpressed that it's not as strong as he expected. My sister decided that she will sleep through it.

We'll talk about standing by the gate at 6 am, still enjoying the view of the dancing trees and the "freshness" of the wind. 

Until it stopped being enjoyable.

The huge branches of the two mango trees in  front of our house started to give way. Our roof took a hit. Something broke. Rain water was everywhere.

We all moved to the safest part of the house: the kitchen. My sister decided she that she won't sleep through Yolanda. My brothers held on to the kitchen door, it seemed that Yolanda wanted to open it too. In the intervals that our door cracked open, we got a glimpse of our main house getting brighter: we've lost half of our roofing.

Random things seemed to fly out of nowhere. Getting hit by a stone flying at 200 kms, no matter how small would have been fatal. Celestine might have been feeling the tension too. She just clung tightly too me, underneath those blankets.

We didn't count the hours. It seemed like it would never it. The walls and the ground trembled.

And then everything went still. No winds. No rain. The eye of the storm. I've always known from lessons in school that the eye of the storm is mighty calm. It is.

It gives you the chance to see the wreckage. It gives you the chance to hear your neighbor's screams and cries. It gives you the chance to see how the street and neighborhood that you've known all your life is unrecognizable at first glance.

For how long? Just a few minutes.

The booming wind could be heard coming back from the opposite direction. We didn't go back to the kitchen; we knew that this time it would be the least safe place in the house. We stayed at the front porch; we opened our gate to 30 or more people who couldn't move forward when the winds came back. Suddenly we didn't feel so alone. We waited for the storm to die down.

It was past noon when the skies cleared up. We forgot about the fried chicken that we cooked. We all had a distracted look on our face. Our adrenaline was still quiet high though. I have a good memory of seeing my sister lift huge galvanized iron sheet that fell into our room. You wanted to do so many things and yet you don't know where to begin.

And then you had to think about tonight and tomorrow. Because things didn't end when the storm died. There was a different situation at hand.

Oh, but here we are. Four years after we can look back on the lessons we learned.

By God's grace, we're still here.



No doubt, my family, we would all be talking about these things if we are together right now. ")

And whenever some tough things come up, we always have a reference: "Kinaya ta ngani an Yolanda. Asay pa ini."
We love to say. And it's true.

XO,
Carissa


Lais Ribeiro broke the news on Instagram: she will be wearing this year's Fantasy Bra at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China! I couldn't be more pleased! Well, to be honest, I wasn't expecting that it would be her, and I thought it would be Elsa Hosk, since Elsa's been in the Show since 2011. But I didn't realize that Lais had been in it since 2010 (save for that one unfortunate year; more on that later). I know she totally deserves it. I've seen her through the years and she never fails to stun me. I'm rooting for her. Maybe she's not (yet) as popular as the other Angels but you only need to see these photos to know why she has been given the honor of wearing the Fantasy Bra. Here is Lais' VS Fashion Show journey.
Those gems look yummy! It's called the Champagne Nights Fantasy Bra. I have biases towards blue baubles. This has to be one of my favorite Fantasy Bras. :)

2010
This was the year that I got addicted with watching VS Fashion Shows. I knew I had a lot catching up to do but that's what YouTube is for. Ayt? Coincidentally, according to Lais' Wiki, it was also during this year that she appeared for the first time in the show. Here she is during the 'Wild Things' section.
Image from pinterest.com
2011
2011's is one of my favorite VS Fashion Shows ever. To break it down, on this year Miranda Kerr came back after giving birth and Mr. Maroon 5 worked and played and walked on the runway with his then gf. It was really fun to watch. Lais was also part of the show. She walked in the Ballet, Passion and Pink sections.

2012 was a sad year for Lais. She broke her ankle during the rehearsals so she couldn't make it to the final show.  But... she made a solid comeback the following year and her whole ordeal was featured in the 2013 Show.

2013
The Birds of Paradise section was obviously centered on her and you can she that she was on the cusp of breaking down while walking but totally held herself together.
Embed from Getty Images

2014
Stellar struts...legs for days...she was on her way to becoming an Angel.
Images are from www.pinterest.com
2015
She wore the biggest (and probably the heaviest) wing in 2015, if I'm not mistaken. 
2016
She looked absolutely stunning last year. This look should have clued us in. :)
Embed from Getty Images

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2017 will be televised on the 28th of November on CBS.
Can't wait to see Lais and the other girls.

XO,
Carissa
Cara Delevingne is the new face of Dior's anti-aging line. She's in her mid-20's so I guess the message is pretty clear: it's never too early to start taking care of your skin, for future's sake. :)
I'm already quiet vigilant about maintaining a skin care routine but I have yet to try anything that's an  'in-your-face anti-aging product', moreso a wrinkle correcting one. When I saw this one on Sample Room I got curious so I decided to try it. Here's my review.
Name: Pond's Age Miracle Wrinkle Corrector Day Cream SPF 18 PA++
Price: Free
Where I Got It: Sample Room//www.sampleroom.ph
Also available at: drugstores and department stores nationwide

What Is It?
In a nutshell, it is a light day cream that releases retinol which works non stop to help reduce wrinkle appearance. It also contains SPF 18 which helps protect against the sun's harmful rays.

Labels and Ingredients



The manufacturing and expiry dates are well printed in the packaging. Just to give you an idea about the size of the tub, here it is. It's really cute.

Up Close
I bet you can see that it's pinkish in color. It contains 10g of product but a little goes a long way with this so you run out of it easily.
My Take
This pinkish cream has a bit of a mousy consistency. It smells sickly sweet, but not in a bothersome way, at least for me. When I used it, I applied it in dots all over my face and then just blended it out. It blends out easily and really nicely; no tugging. After application, the face looks a little bit pinkish and I noticed that my skin looked smooth - no kidding. It minimized the appearance of my pores. I topped it with foundation and it looked great even without a primer. Although my face looked a bit shiny after about two hours, I still looked alright and I just needed to blot out the excess oil. There's no hot or heavy feeling even when I used it under a foundation.

Here's the hitch - after using the product straight for two days, I spotted a few zits on face. That is unusual because I don't break out easily. I had a pimple on my forehead, on my right cheek and on my chin and I'm still far away from that time of the month. So I decided to stop using it. It's a shame though because I thought I could use it as a pre-foundation moisturizer but it turned out that it's not compatible with my skin. 
Have you tried this product?
Do share your experience in the comment box below.
XO,
Carissa
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