Ninong XL, my kitchen mentor and heart101 adviser, is finally graduating this semester! Yaaaay! Cheers to quality education! (It sure takes time. haha) To celebrate his victory we made our version of spaghetti aglio e olio. Lakas maka-sosyal! But really, it’s so easy to make. 

In Italian it means spaghetti with garlic and oil. Sauté minced garlic in olive oil, add herbs and a bit of salt; toss with your spaghetti. Since we are huge herb lovers, we added more parsley and basil than necessary. Haha. That intense herb-y kick in my taste buds is pure heaven!

You probably noticed that this version of ours doesn’t have parmesan. It’s still aglio olio, though. According to some sources, the traditional aglio olio recipe doesn’t include cheese. This is good news to those who want to cut down the cost. 

Although a cheese lover, I prefer my aglio olio sans parmesan. The flavor fusion of garlic and herbs is already a win for me! 

Buon appetito!!

Conquering the world one bowl of pasta at a time,



Let me start by saying I’ve never undergone any professional training. I learned all these from watching video tutorials and sheer curiosity. So please understand the ceiling of my knowledge and capability. :)

The first tutorial I ever watched was Bubzbeauty’s smokey eye tutorial. I got overwhelmed with the layers of eyeshadows used and I thought I won’t be able to do it myself. Wrong! I figured there are lots of ways to achieve it. You just have to pay attention to details and practice. 

I started out pretty bad, though. Tragic. So I practiced and observed until I figured out how to make it simpler. I then managed to perfect my own version.

Tada!! I think I’ve improved... a bit. Haha!

Here are a few tips I hope you'll find useful.

TIP#1: The key to a smoldering smokey eye makeup is blending.

You need to avoid harsh lines! It is imperative to blend the edges to create a soft look. There’s a reason why it’s called smokey eyes, you know. It should appear like smoke.

TIP#2: If you don’t have the tools, IMPROVISE!

Makeup brushes are extremely important. Each brush has its own purpose. But you don’t have to have all those brushes to perfect this especially if you’re a beginner. If you are in a really tight budget like me, please, be practical and improvise instead. I prefer to use these applicators.

I use the first end for the blending, the other for the application. Others would recommend you use cotton buds but it wouldn’t really do the trick especially when blending. It could remove your makeup. However, if you don’t have any choice but to use it, give it a go. Just try it with a light hand.

You can also use your ring finger for the application if you don’t any of the two I mentioned above. I also tried it in blending the edges but it’s a bit messy, or is it just me?

TIP#3:  Use a pigmented matte black eyeshadow.

Try to go easy on the shimmer, honey. You wouldn’t want to ruin the smokey effect. If you want to add drama to it, use a metallic white or silver eyeshadow and dab it right at the center of your lid to create dimension.

Are we learning? Yes? No? Okay lang yan! Let's avoid looking like raccoons on special events, okay?

A loud thank you to my gorgeous model, Pearl Binahon, who is ever willing to be my victim (since Day 1 haha); and to the fabulous Jeorge Yamuyam, who took these lovely pictures. Wohooo! Cheers to lasting friendship and oozing creativity! Naks.

Conquering the world one smokey eye at a time,


OneRepublic LIVE in Manila #OneRepublicMNL

Yes, yes, yes they're coming!! One Republic is invading Manila this November 6! Wohooo!

The first time I heard "Apologize" I knew I'd be keeping an eye on this band. I fell in love with their music so bad I felt sorry for the replay button.

They have wonderful music, that's given. But of course we like playing favorites. My top five favorites are Secrets, Say all I need, Mercy, Come home (yes, I'm a TVD fan as well) and Counting Stars. These five songs could play in loop the whole day and I'd be sleeping with a happy face. If listening to these songs repeatedly could earn me tickets, I'd probably be giving out a lot of them! Haha. Here I go again, dreaming for the impossible.

Being a fan that I am, of course I'd love to see them perform. It's not everyday I get to see my favorite band perform live! I just want to sing along with them and get lost for a moment.

So mark thy calendars, people!


No, not the hairstyle and definitely not the fish. I'm talking about the skirt with a unique hi-low hem. I finally got myself one. Yay! Kinda late, I know. Lookbookers have been buzzing about this since last year. But fashion isn't just about what's in, right? It's a means of expressing oneself. And it's only now have I decided to express myself in a mullet skirt. 

I've been on the look for pretty hi-low skirts. They go from neons to pastels to random prints. It's the simplicity of this one that got my attention. The material is light and the color is really soothing to the eyes. 

Mullet skirt, Forever 21


So there you have it. My first outfit post.

Conquering the world one outfit at a time,



Last Saturday, I was once reunited with Dan and She for our seasonal shoot. We knew it would be a long afternoon of pure passion (naks!). It’s only fitting that we had our tummies full-tanked. So we headed to Joe’s Italian Restaurant to indulge ourselves in some pasta goodness.

It is a house of pasta where cheese and herbs collide in a manner that would tickle your taste buds. I’ve been staying in Elbi (Los Banos) for quite a while now (read: 8 years) and I can’t believe how on earth did I ever fail to visit this place! 

Its dimly lit interior brings a romantic feel. This is totally conducive for dating. <3

Interesting bit, isn't it?

This is She, my lovely sister from another parents (goes by the name of Shirley May on crazy days). 

And this is Dan, the superman behind the lens. Woot!

When the three of us are together, it's impossible to remove the oopsies out of the picture. Shortly after the dishes were served, She and I immediately took a mouthful and boy, it was HOT! Patay gutom ang peg.

Gambereli al neapoletana, P185.00

Prawns in lemon cream sauce. This is what I ordered for myself and it screams of creamy, herby goodness!

Cheesy bacon linguine, P180.00

Chopped pancetta (Italian bacon) in two-cheese sauce. Cheese overload! If you're a cheese lover, this is a must-try!

Sicillian calameretti (spicy calameretti), P175.00

This one is also a win! I didn't find it spicy, though. Believe me, I have a really high tolerance for spiciness. If you're not a fan of spicy food, I believe this one's safe. :)

Joe's Italian Restaurant
Pearl St., Umali Subd, Los Banos, Laguna
(near Los Banos National High School)

Going back? Definitely!
Happy faces = satisfied diners. See you around, Joe!

Photos by: Daniel Richard Sta. Romana

Conquering the world one bowl of pasta at a time,



We know for a fact that each one of us is different. And yet it’s sad how hard we struggle to conform and blend in.

For many years, I’ve tried and tried [and failed] to please and fit in. I felt lost in a maze full of pretension. Every move was nothing but a gamble that took my identity as a wager. The longer I played, the lesser I became. So one day stopped trying. For once, I stopped looking at others and started seeing myself. I stopped counting what I lack and started appreciating what I have. I started being myself. 

I'm not gonna lie, I am a far cry from a typical Maria Clara (I can hear my friends clapping for stating the obvious haha). I am perky, loquacious, crazy, and adventurous. I giggle a lot and laugh rather too easily even at the lamest of jokes.

I am unafraid to go places and get lost but quite squeamish when crossing a busy road. Cheers to irony! I have the ability to switch people's boiling point to maximum when I shriek like a banshee at the sight of a flying cockroach. It's like world war Z to me! 

I’m no Kate Moss.  Neither do I have a perfect face nor a statuesque body to flaunt. I don’t watch my weight but I do watch out for food. But hey, I love dressing up and posing for the camera! I can't help it, guys! My blood runs pink.

Well, this is me embracing who I am – flaws and all. 

Tara! Let our crazy selves be! Let's conquer the world one blooper at a time!

Photos by: Daniel Richard Sta. Romana