Buy 1 Take 1 Valentine Sale at Renegade Folk

Renegade Folk

Oh ladies…find your sole mate at Renegade Folk! This indie local brand offers a lovely range of chic, carefully handcrafted sandals that deliver a year-round summer vibe. As a special Valentine treat, buy any pair at Renegade Folk’s White Plains boutique and get another pair absolutely free!


Renegade Folk

“We push for people to stay true to their own individuality and talents, thus Renegade Folk and our mantra ‘own your step,’” says Regina Sambalido, co-founder of Renegade Folk


Renegade Folk

Shop your heart out!


Happening now till tomorrow (February 14-15, 11 AM-8 PM) at 3/F Linear Building, White Plains, Quezon City (across Pan de Amerikana). Promo is valid for purchases at the White Plains store only. For more information, contact mobile (+63927) 741-0056 or visit

You’re welcome.

Hearts and Flowers


Glass heart ring by Pylones


How cute is this quirky glass heart ring from Pylones? It’s the most adorable accomplice if you’re planning to declare your love this Valentine’s Day! While you’re at it, pick up a lovely bouquet of flowers or box of chocolates for the object of your affection—or yourself, why not?


Valentines isn’t just for lovers–show your appreciation for the special people in your life by surprising them with flowers!


All available at the Valentine pop-up at the Power Plant Mall lobby (near Marks & Spencer) this week until Sunday, February 15.


Heart rings

PS. Take a selfie in front of the Pylones booth (don’t forget #pylonesparis) and get a chance to win a heart ring! Check out @pylonesph on Instagram for more details.


A Birthday at Lemuria

A good friend of ours (who prefers to remain anonymous) recently turned 60 and invited some of his closest friends to celebrate this milestone at the hidden gem called Lemuria in Horseshoe Village, Quezon City. Although usually closed on Mondays, the owners, Marina and Klaus Schroeder, also good friends of our group, graciously opened the restaurant for the celebrant. It promised to be a night of great food, much laughter, and some amazing wines.

While waiting for everyone to show up, the early birds were treated to a some Casa Marin Cipreses Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011 from Chile. A fairly full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc. Pineapple, lime, and as it warms up, green pepper. Good ripe fruit in this. I’m not a Sauvignon Blanc fan but this is rather nice.

We then sat at a long table to partake of a menu prepared by Lemuria’s Chef Kevin Endaya.



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Diving into Chinese Medicine


Photo from

About a year ago, I experienced this weird twitching in my right eye. Common sense told me it was a sign of stress but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what was putting me under pressure — work was going well, I was practicing yoga regularly, and I had a pretty healthy lifestyle.

The twitches became so severe, I called on a friend of mine who I knew was a fan of acupuncture. Now, I had tried acupuncture once several years ago and I didn’t really feel any effects (good or bad). Then again, I did just go to a clinic and nothing was explained to me, so aside from getting some thin needles stuck on me (and one quick jolt of pain with a needle somewhere on my foot), I didn’t really know what I was getting into.

Upon my friend’s recommendation, I called St. Luke’s Medical Center and made an appointment with Dr. Kit Navarro. I’d met Dr. Kit before at a yin yoga class he subbed and I liked his light, sometimes acerbic, always humorous approach to yoga.

Photo from

Photo from


After I gave him a short medical history, Dr. Kit told me what was about to happen. He told me about how acupuncture was just like doing yin yoga—assisting the flow of energy in the body to get me balanced. I lay on a bed for probably half an hour, he told me about the different points in the body we were triggering and also gave me a thorough talk, discussing what’s going outside the physical sphere.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) isn’t just about putting band-aids on parts of the body that need healing—it’s about going deep and that means investigating everything from digestion to rest to sleep to even emotional health. I left that first session feeling extremely restful, a little sleepy, and super relaxed—like I’d just gotten a really luxurious spa massage.

I saw Dr. Kit once a week for a month and while I don’t completely understand acupuncture and all the nitty gritty details about TCM, I’m pretty sure it worked because the twitches went away. And they never came back!

My experience with acupuncture, plus my yin yoga practice made me a believer in TCM and how, put simply, it can help you get yourself to feel better in your skin.

I’ve taken many classes under Dr. Kit after our month of weekly acupuncture sessions and we even took a Thai Massage training together, and I do love interacting with him because I always feel like I’m learning something new, practical, and within my grasp. I was psyched to find out he’s holding a Chinese Tradition and Yin Yoga Workshop at the new Beyond Yoga Libis branch—in time for Chinese New Year (which, incidentally, is my year too!).

Visit for more information!

Visit for more information!


For anyone who wants to learn about TCM, about yin yoga, and about wellness in general, I highly suggest you attend this workshop. You’ll feel better, learn a little more… and Dr. Kit says there will be some tikoy waiting for participants! You’ve got to love that :)

All information on Dr. Kit Navarro’s Chinese Tradition & Yin Yoga are on the poster above. Please call Beyond Yoga Libis at 0917-8758268 for more details.

Special thanks to Mabelle Toledo-Ramirez.




Kapitolyo has certainly become a hotspot for some of the most interesting restaurants in the city. The main streets of East and West Capitol are home to many restaurants that are now household names and Capitol Commons is now home to even more choices. But restaurants are colonizing other areas of Kapitolyo as well and one of the hottest places on the periphery is Locavore.

Locavore at 10 Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig City

Locavore at 10 Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig City

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Chaine des Rotisseurs Austro-Hungarian Dinner

For this year’s Induction dinner, the Chaine des Rotisseurs will be having an Austro-Hungarian theme to be executed by Diamond Hotel’s Executive Chef and Chaine member Marko Rankel. Although he is German and not Austrian, he did extensive research on the favorite dishes of Emperor of Austria and Apostolic King of Hungary Franz Joseph and his beautiful Empress Elisabeth – dubbed “the loveliest woman in Europe.”


Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth

Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth

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Lucky Dots

New year has come and gone, but who says we have to put away the lucky polka dots? (Yes, I follow the very “tita” tradition of wearing this coin-shaped print to ensure prosperity for the upcoming year—doesn’t hurt, right?) I absolutely adore this whimsical print and it’s fun to wear on its own, or mixed with stripes or florals for a playful twist. Here are some polka dot pieces I’m loving now (plus a striped and floral piece for good measure):


lucky dots


Clockwise from top left:

Floral scarf from Uniqlo

Polka-dot skater dress from Topshop (hurry, now on sale!)

Striped boatneck tee by H&M

This chic polka dot clutch is actually a pencil case! Gold dots pencil pouch (includes plastic ruler, 2 pencils, gold metal sharpener, and eraser) by Kate Spade (P1715), available at select National Bookstore and PowerBooks branches

Dot-print shorts by Marimekko for Banana Republic (oops, this one is from last year)

Mint polka dot slip-ons with pink accent by Puma (P2150)

Do optical illusion dots count? “Charlie” woven purse with gold chain by Aranaz


A little late (sorry, I was hibernating–and then glued to the TV for the Pope Francis coverage), but here’s wishing you a happy new year full of wonder, love, and good fortune!

Don Andres – A Peruvian Kitchen

There are already a couple of Latin American restaurants in Manila but the Happy Lab gang is fortunate in that one of them just opened a mere five-minute walk from our office.

Don Andres used to be located on Scout Tobias but has now moved to a bigger location on Sgt. Esguerra St. (Bohol Ave.). The kitchen is run by Chef Luis Higa, a Peruvian national of Japanese descent. The front of the house is managed by his Filipina wife Candy. The restaurant is named after the youngest sibling of Chef Luis. Their family also runs a Don Andres restaurant in Peru.

Don Andres - A Peruvian Kitchen

Don Andres – A Peruvian Kitchen

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Marks and Spencer Cheers and Jeers

First of all a Happy New Year to all our readers! May the New Year bring you peace, prosperity and all good things!

Every year, around Christmas time, I eagerly peruse Marks and Spencer’s food selections as I look forward to their excellent fruitcake and Christmas pudding. Fruitcake is a running gag every Christmas but I’m one of those who happen to enjoy it and look forward to it so if there’s anyone out there who received fruitcake and doesn’t want it, you can send it to me. When I was growing up, our family could count on receiving a couple of fruitcakes for Christmas but lately, it seems to have fallen out of fashion to give them as gifts so some years, I have to buy them for myself.

Marks and Spencer Intensely Fruity Christmas Pudding

Marks and Spencer Intensely Fruity Christmas Pudding

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Sticky Residue Remover

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Here’s my belated Boxing Day post :)

This year, my in-laws gifted me with a lovely robin’s egg blue dinnerware set from Crate & Barrel, which I was excited to use right away. When I proceeded to remove the store stickers underneath each plate, of course I discovered that the stickers were the frustrating kind that don’t come off neatly in one go (don’t you just hate that?). Uh-oh, OC mode on!

Good thing my friend Christine Dychiao introduced me to Grandma’s Secret Goo Remover several months ago (more on that here), and this nifty little OC helper now sits right next to the kitchen sink, ready to use whenever I encounter stubborn goo that refuses to come off. Just a little squirt on the sticky surface, a few swipes with a damp cloth, and the annoying residue that usually takes forever to scrub off is gone in seconds. Grandma (whoever you are), I love you!

Crate & Barrel

Grandma’s Secret Goo Remover to the rescue! P.S. I love how my new plates coordinate with the blue sakura blooms on my existing set, so I can mix and match my dinnerware!


Grandma’s Secret is available at, Sesou Nature Source stores, Nurture Nook in Bel-Air Makati, Baby & Beyond in San Juan, Modern Mama Cebu, and Chimes Davao.