HAPPY PLACE: EMPIRE FASHION CAFE

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A fashion store and a cafe in one place. Empire Fashion Cafe has gathered those famous instagram retail stores in one place for a more convenient and smoother shopping experience.

THE FASHION STORE

First thing’s first: The First Impression. 

What I like about this cafe and what made me fall in love with it is the sheer size of it. If you don’t know about it yet, lemme tell you now. I’m a total fan of physical instagram shops and one similarity I noticed with each and every one I went to is how small and crowded their places are. Rentals are expensive, I understand this perfectly well, that’s why I was so awed to see how adequate the size of the Empire fashion cafe is. For people who hate small spaces like me, this is just terrific!

There are plenty of items you can find here. Make-up, shoes, clothes – name it, they got it! Since I prefer physical stores over online shopping, it was very convenient to have all those famous instagram shops in one place. Imagine the array of selections in your hands! You’re free to check the quality and even ask for a new stock. I can also attest to the quality and uniqueness of the available fashion items as I was unable to find to find the same designs in the two other stores I visited the same day.

Another bonus point: the staffs are well-mannered and very accommodating!

I saw some good DIY hair dyes here so I’m probably coming back to purchase one after I get the approval of my old man. That, and I’m eyeing that Kylie lippie. But the shade I want isn’t available pa. Hmm.

THE CAFE

Since we were already there, I decided to try out their cafe instead of hopping over and coming back to The Lost Bread. The cafe part of the store is a bit quaint – it’s on the left side of the store – but we were fortunate enough to find a good spot for us inside. There are also tables outside for those peeps who want to enjoy the breeze.

We ordered Choco Coffee Kiss (135), Frappe De Kitkat (155), Nachos (135) and Buffalo Wings (180).

The frappes are good! We were supposed to order the freak shakes because of how grammable and blog-worthy they look, but experience-wise, we decided against it. They’re almost the same with The Lost Bread’s four signature shakes and I knew from that experience how sweet (albeit yummy) they could be! So frappe is it!

I made a good decision because as it turned out, the frappes are helluva good! The taste and blending are just right. Not too sweet, not too bland – just right. And it’s affordable, too, so I’m definitely going back to try the other flavors as well.

As for the Buffalo Wings and mojos, they definitely taste good but I’ve had better. I am a true fan of Snack & Ladder’s Buffalo Wings ergo this review but you will still surely enjoy this anyway so you might want to give it a go.

Can’t say the same for the nachos, though. It’s too salty for my liking. Are nachos supposed to taste this way? I can’t be so sure so yeah. We couldn’t  even finish the entire snack because on top of them being salty, we were already full from the frappe and buffalo wings (not that it’s a bad or anything).

Still worth a try, though. It’s not the best out there but we all have different preferences anyway!

The over-all feel of the place is good despite how bustling it is (signs of a successful store!). The restroom is clean, the walls are properly and artfully decorated, and the set-up of the stalls aren’t suffocating. Sakto lang.

And look! They even have a play room for the kids! How convenient, right? If they just add a bookshelf here or a corner for bookworms like me, this place is totally going to my number one happy place!

Ratings: 4/5

Am I going back? Yes, as in super duper mega yes!

Will I recommend it? Of course, especially to those millenials who are after good fashion and cosmetic gems.

Empire is located at 143 Maginhawa Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City. 

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Unplanned Visit | Nandana Wellness & Spa 

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If you read my previous Sunday Currently link-ups, you’re most probably aware that I’ve been moaning about going to a spa and having a full body massage for almost a month now. Not sure if it’s due to stress or health issues or whatnots but my body is literally and figuratively craving for that sweet relaxation I received when me and my family went to Pharaoh a few months ago (I heard it already closed down though. Sad), so finding this new happy place is definitely a serendipitous moment for me.

Ending up here isn’t really a part of the plan. We were already on our way home from Poshmark when I saw their signage and decided to give it a try, thinking it’s a facial spa or something. Turned out it was a massage spa! The first thing I noticed immediately is the ambiance. The space is simple and doesn’t have that much furniture or decorations, giving it an oriental feel. It’s very inviting, not to mention the soothing scent of the oil permeating in the air itself is enough to relax your mind. Of course, a spa won’t be complete without a zen music serenading us.

So why Nandana? 

We made chika with the receptionist for a few minutes while waiting so we were able to get a few information. Nandana means daughter of happiness from India, and they’ve only been around for three months! Kaya pala. I always go to Shopitude with my friend to shop and this is my first time encountering their spa. Heh. That means I haven’t gone to Maginhawa in three months na noh? Realizations, realizations…

Moving on…

Since my friend, Janine, didn’t want to try the massage and opted for the footspa and pedicture, I went for it alone. I chose for a full body thai massage with oil. Nung una, ayaw ko pa nga. Who wants to go home smelling like oil and feeling malagkit ‘di ba? But after some serious thought, I caved in anyway. With oil is better than no oil. Besides, I want the stretching and scrubbing that Thai offers, rather than just having a pressure points massage which the thai dry massage offers. Mas relaxing daw and I feel like I needed the stretch anyway as my muscles are feeling really sore!

Oh, and if you’re interested, they also have the swedish full body massage and their signature hot stone body massage which we’re going to try when we come back next time! The Swedish massage is more on the hagod hagod part in contrast to the Thai which focused on the stretching. If you want to just relax and soothe your muscles, they recommend that you have the Swedish massage. But for those customers who have back pains or lamig  as we call it, hot stone massage is the way to go! If interested, kindly check metrodeal for their promos.

After the transaction in the reception, I was ushered to one of the rooms with the standard japanese mattress. Okay naman. Clean naman, so definitely plus points for me!

The staffs were so accommodating and nice, too. They offered us free guyabano tea na sobrang okay ‘yung lasa.

So onto the body massage…
I’m not really an expert in reviewing this one. I’ve only ever tried body massage thrice in my entire life so I can’t say for sure if this is the best spa out there but it’s definitely my favorite place for now. I went in with a pilay right around the shoulder and a killer headache. The lady that assisted me was so nice she gave special attention to those areas while applying adequate and relaxing massage to my other pressure points. Super relaxing, as in! Worth it and affordable pa!

I kind of felt drowsy during the massage time. But since I’m madaldal, I fought against the urge to sleep and chatted the night away. Thanks to ate Leah for keeping up with me and for being nice enough to offer me advice on how I can deal with my vertigo attacks.

The highlights of the massage for me were the stretching parts and the massage for the head. Heaveeeen, dudes! I was actually scared that they’d fall short of my expectations but no, they delivered just fine and it helped a loy in soothing my aching nerves and muscles. Plus, it’s an added point that their oil is so well-scented. Ang bango bango! After the massage, my skin felt so smooth, soft and supple that I couldn’t stop touching it. I heard it was a peppermint oil among other ingredients. Hindi siya malagkit. Super soft to the touch talaga!

My all-in-all ratings: 4/5

Am I going back? YES. DEFINITELY.

Do I recommend it? YES. GONNA BRING MY FRIENDS NEXT TIME!

For those interested, you can find them at 3rd Floor, 109 V. Luna, Anonas Ext. Road, Brgy. Sikatuna Village.

They are located on the third floor just beside the gym and above the Poshmark & Shopitude store.

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Dear Blog | vol. 2

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Dear Blog, 



I was browsing my old posts and I stumbled upon my first volume of Dear Blog link-up. I stifled a laugh kasi it felt damn funny and ironic. I was back to the same state I was in before but everything seemed so far different now. Even how I felt then is different compared to how I feel now. So many things have changed in just a few months. Bilis talaga ng panahon.

What’s ironic though is although so much has changed, my thoughts and feelings and frights and dreams haven’t. I’m still an emotional mess.

Let me discuss this in detail:

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Maginhawa | Snacks & Ladders


Yet another unexpected and unplanned cafe adventure. To be honest, I don’t know Snacks & Ladders until my friend brought it up. Since it sounded cool and intriguing to me, we decided to visit it that very day.

Before anything else, Snacks & Ladders is a board game cafe located in Maginhawa. You will see them quickly because there are life size chess board pieces and chess-themed tables just outside their cafe. I like that the staffs were very accommodating. We were listed to their waiting list and was guided to one of the tables. One of the staffs even brought out two electric fans which gave them plus points from me!

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One check at their menu and I knew I’d be staying for a while. Their prices are very affordable and reasonable! We ended up buying the two shakes (109), the Buffalo wings (159), Oreo cheese cake (95) and Jenga cheese sticks (129), which by the way we loved to death! I thought the shakes would taste so-so but they blew me away. They weren’t that sweet nor bland. Just right. We could taste the Hansel and Chocnut, which combined with the oreo cheese cake, were rockets! Plus, the Buffalo wings are to die for! They are delicious and spicy, coming with two dips that made the taste even stand out!  I’d be coming back here for them. Deffo!

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Snacks & Ladders has two floors. The first floor is filled with tables that can accommodate small and large groups, plus there were plenty of bookshelves filled with board games lined against the walls. I liked the cozy and homey interior. In fact, when we went there, there were so many families and kids playing about inside, and it’s refreshing to see them bond over food and games! And did I mention they have foosball, karaoke, table tennis and billiards there?

The second floor is even better! It’s the highlight for me! It’s carpeted and you’re required to leave your shoes in their shoe racks/stairs. The floor is big enough to accommodate at least six to seven groups. I love that we get to sit on the floor. They have low tables, bean bags and cute pillows ready there, along with the collections of board games stacked onto the shelves. Their walls were decorated with post-it notes and a massive snake & ladder game which you can play or use as a background for photo ops!

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I love their board games. They have a lot, catering from children to young adults! Of all the games, we enjoyed Jenga the most (because I suck at it. Ha!)

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I give this place a 5/5 rating. Why? We got to stay here for three hours, spending all that time playing board games. It was so cozy and we enjoyed every second. It’s really a perfect place for friends to hang out in! I’m sure the other groups with us would agree, since all those hours we were there, I heard nothing but laughter and cheers.

My tip is if you’re going, you have to be at least four to ten to fully enjoy the ambiance of the place. I came there with only two friends with me, and boy was I jealous of the fun the other people there were having!

All in all, it’s a great barkada hot spot!

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If you want to visit,

Snacks & Ladders is located at 188 Maginhawa St. Quezon City


 

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A Quote | Waking Life

If there is any quote that can summarize how I feel about life, it’s this one big dialogue from the movie of Waking Life.

Many years back, I remember reading my aunt’s facebook status that we are constantly in a state of movement, of dynamic change.

I agree with her.

See, the end point does not matter; it’s the in betweens that make the difference. We are always a work-in-progress, always learning, always growing. There’s no end to it. As long as we’re breathing, there’s a whole other world out there, waiting for us to explore. There are so many doors waiting to be opened. To stop at all means to forfeit achieving your best potential. We are constantly improving. It doesn’t even matter how or how fast you do it as long as you do it. Let it be at your own pace instead of letting the society cage you in. Like the elders said, think outside the box. Go beyond the lines. Jump over the walls. The only limitation is the one you set for yourself. The only block from reaching that prize is just you and your thoughts.

Remember.

Everyone’s biggest enemy is themselves.

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I feel like my transport should be an extension of my personality. And this is like my little window to the world… and every minute’s a different show. I may not understand it. I may not even necessarily agree with it. But I’ll tell you what I’ve accepted: just sort of glide along. You want to keep things on an even key, this is what I’m saying. You want to go with the flow. The sea refuses no river.The idea is to remain in a state of constant departure while always arriving. It saves on introductions and goodbyes. The ride does not require explanation – just occupance. That’s where you guys come in. It’s like you come onto this planet with a crayon box. Now you may get the 8 pack, you may get the 16 pack but it’s all in what you do with the crayons – the colors – that you’re given. Don’t worry about coloring within the lines or coloring outside the lines – I say color outside the lines, you know what I mean? Color all over the page; don’t box me in! We’re in motion to the ocean. We are not land locked, I’ll tell you that.

From the movie, Waking Life

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Sunday Currently | 01

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This is my first try at doing something like this so I’m not really sure what to say or if I should be witty or dorky. Bwahaha.

Anyway. There are so many things I want to say right now but I’ll stick to the norm, cut you some slack and proceed to my first ever volume of SUNDAY CURRENTLY.

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