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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Maginhawa | The Nook Cafe

For the past month or so, I’ve been hearing raves about this new cafe addition along Maginhawa street, which by the way is famous for its food joints, fashion boutiques and cozy cafes.

True enough, the Nook Cafe is definitely a big thumbs up especially for Harry Potter fans. The place just screams, Potterhead, from the entrance up to the second floor.

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