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Sunday, July 28, 2013

First time on Lugang Cafe @ SM The Block

Great morning guys!!! Last, last week, I finally get to try a restaurant I have been eyeing on for quite some time, LUGANG CAFÉ.


My sister is resistant to try out something new but I am insistent. Actually, she is a safe eater and I am a foodie and being a foodie, If I have a chance to try something that caught my eye, I grab it!

As a background, Lugang Café is a restaurant under the Bellagio Management Group of companies based in Shanghai. They say that Bellagio is known to be the best Taiwanese cusine in China and best desserts in Shanghai. Hence, we are here to prove all the titles right or wrong. Let’s say this is sort of a review of my one-time experience with Lugang Café:


Ambience (5/5)

I find the name of the restaurant unattractive but the interiors are so grand. As you enter the place, there is a huge stone art work of a Buddha almost covering the wall. The chairs are metallic in color that makes it extra shiny and glossy. The ceiling is abundant with small, elegant cage-like chandeliers that gives a soft, romantic lighting to diners. The sophistication of the place can be compared to a cafe inside a hotel, thus, kind of intimidating but if you have the money, then by all means, dine in, right? Also, if you are looking for a great place for photo-ops with your friends, this is the place! Although it is quite awkward to stand up and take a picture, hahahahha! That is why there is hardly any pictures.

Price (3/5)

We availed of the Feast-all-you-can ala-carte style promo (available until July 31, 2013 exclusive for the SM The Block branch) for the amount of 688++/head. The “++” means plus 12% VAT and 10% service charge so that is 22% on top of the 688. The promo offers unlimited dimsum, appetizer, rice, soup and drinks but the catch is you only have one choice for each person for the house specialties.  

Quite expensive, huh? But then, we are already seated and accommodated so there is no turning back. "It better be worth it!”, we murmured.

Food (3.5/5)

Was it worth it? Slight? LOL. Let me explain that. We ordered the following:

Dimsum

·         Steamed Crab Roe and Pork Xiao Long Bao

·         Steamed Angled Loofah with Shrimps Xiao Long Bao

Appetizer

·         Garlic Pork Roll

·         Pork Xiao Long Bao

Soup: Corn Soup

Rice: Golden Fried Rice with Shredded Pork

House Specialty:

·         Three-cup Chicken

·         Kung-Pao Prawns

Drinks:

·         Almond Jelly Honey Lemon

·         Brewed Iced Tea


The dimsum and the appetizer was so-so and relatively small in servings. Not something to rave about. The soup is good, just another good soup from a good restaurant. The same goes with the rice and the drinks. I don’t want to rant about it.

 

What I am raving about is their house specialties, which unfortunately, cannot be ordered more than once. So much for “eat-all-you-cans”! But damn, it was oozing with flavors. The Kung-pao prawns is the perfect mix of sweet with mild tanginess with cashews. The three-cup chicken is of the same taste but I tasted the fusion of soy sauce, ginger and rice wine. Definitely, a must-try.

 

VERDICT: Will I eat there again? Yes but I will not avail of the “Feast-all-you-can promo” again. Perhaps, I will just order the house specialties and I will definitely go back to try their most raved about desserts which I didn’t had the chance to try since we are so bloated trying to eat everything that we have ordered as they are strict on their “no-leftovers” policy.

 

 The Lugang Cafe is located in the GF of SM The Block North EDSA. 


Awww... Now i am hungry again... Lol!

 

 

 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sweatshirt and Chucks Mix-up

Hello guys! Nothing extraordinary for today but I am in the mood to dress up with an uncommon outfit. Uncommon in the sense that sweatshirts are not really a familiar piece to wear in a tropical country like the Philippines. 


I know you are like WTF?!? I know it is unflattering to one’s curves but who says you just dressed to emphasize your curves? Even once in a while you can dressed up just for the heck of it, eh? Another point is the weather outside calls for a light-fabric clothing but please understand, who doesn’t want to wear like its winter with boots and all (but I don’t have a boots…what a pity!) Well, I do that’s why whenever I had the chance to bring up sweatshirts, I grab it and one of those chances is MOVIE-WATCHING!!! It’s not like I’ll be running or exercising, I’ll just be watching a movie inside a verrrrrrrry-coldddd moviehouse! Makes sense, right? And believe me, I could not be more thankful that I used this piece. It is better than pulling your shirts here and there just to cover your skin. 

However, I am disappointed that I don’t have a matching boots for this so I substituted my boots fantasy to chucks from Ked’s. I didn’t accessorize it as much apart from pretty sunnies I got from a thrift shop.


Anyway, though my day is not extraordinary, the movie is amazing. We watched “Tuhog”, a local film, starring Eugene Domingo, Jake Cuenca, Enchong Dee and Leo Martinez. Quite a bizaare name for a movie! Actually, I must admit it exceeded way beyond my expectations. It displays life in different angles and different perspectives. It also offers great learnings from teenagers to senior citizens. Indeed, Life is short and all we can do is live each day as if it is our last. Such a cliché but very true. All we have is NOW so live it! Oh, I am so drawn to tell the story of the movie but that would mean “spoilers” so I would leave it up to you to find out why it is called “Tuhog”. I swear it’s not something promiscuous.

Till next time guys!!!

 ---plumpykurvy

Monday, July 15, 2013

OOTN: Going neutral but classy

Hello again everyone!!! This is my second post for today regarding the events last Saturday. In the morning, I’ve attended a kid’s party (see my previous OOTD post) and the same day, at night, I’ve went to a high school friend’s birthday party.

Since the birthday boy opened his house for all our batch mates, we took the opportunity to have a mini-reunion and plan the upcoming reunion celebrating the 10-year anniversary of our batch on March of next year. (Stop figuring out when did we graduate? Ahahahahahah! We’re growing old, ayt? Happy?) Hurray!

Now, here is my OOTN:



I am going neutral with a mix of black and beige. I need not to explain why, right? Black is a staple for me. My whole wardrobe is dominated by black or closer-to-black hues and I can’t help but feel my safest with black. Aside from it is flattering to my curves, it is classy. Thus, I choose to wear a black sheer top and my ever comfy, black beaded leggings.

Nonetheless, I don’t want to look like going to a funeral so I matched the sleeveless top with a little pop of a beige midriff cardigan accessorizing it with a black and cream geometrical statement necklace and a square pseudo-pearl hoop earrings. I was so tempted to wear my favorite belt that I don't want my outfit to look so busy so no to belt for now... :-)

Many had complimented my outfit and I was very happy and very much appreciative of the good remarks. Although, I don’t dress to impress other people, it is still fulfilling that others seem to appreciate your good fashion sense.

We had a successful pre-planning meeting and more so, a successful mini-reunion. Many happenings from the past have been brought up to put smiles on our faces and echoed laughter across the room all night long. Surely, this will not be our last catching-up session. 

Here is a picture of our mini-reunion:


CHEERS!!! 🍺🍻🍸🍹🍷

--plumpykurvy 💋💋💋

 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

OOTD: Blue & Comfy

Rise and Shine guys!! It’s Monday (uggghhh….) once again… How did your weekend turned out? As for me, I had a busy weekend. I attended two birthday parties in a row!!! And when I say parties, that basically spells “OOTD”. Thank God I finally had the chance to make an OOTD post and yes this is my very first!!!

Last Saturday Morning, I had a severe headache and I thought I can’t attend the first birthday of my godson, Avery!!! But I had already promised Faye (my officemate and the mother of Avery) that I will be coming no matter what. Anyway, I have a driver… ahahahaha… my sister. Just kidding. In fact, my sister is also close to Faye coz she introduced her fellow doctor, an OB-Gyne to Faye which became her personal OB-Gyne in her first pregnancy. Also, she assisted in Faye’s birth operation so actually, she had this connection with them.

So much for the personal side stories, here is my OOTD:


I opt to make it blue and comfy. For some reason, I associate baby boy’s birthday parties to shades of blue. Thus, this outfit!!! Then again, putting that aside, I particularly love this royal blue top from Apt8 Clothing.


I slightly covered it with a black blazer. I don’t know, I am feeling so sick that day and somehow, I want to wear a blazer. Security blanket, eh?



As I always say, I always put comfort on top of everything and what can be more comfortable than a leggings? Hence, I matched my top with this checkered leggings I got from a thrift store. Finishing the look with fancy earrings and wedge-y slipper and I’m off to go.

We came in late (shame on me!!) but just in time for food!!! Ahahahaha… damn, I miss the games!!! But I had a lootbag and that made my day!!!

SPECIAL MENTION: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY GODSON AVERY!!! MAY YOU GROW UP TO BE A FINE MAN.

-plumpykurvy :-) 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pursuit of Happiness

“Sayang ang talino mo” (your intelligence will just be wasted)

I will always hear those words whenever someone who is academically intelligent pursue a path others think is not suited or matched with his/her intellect. I, myself, have heard the exact words before from my family and I don’t blame them in any way. I know they just want the best for me, that’s why.

Modesty aside, I’ve been quite an achiever from elementary to high school and as a result, high expectations as I continue my life entering college!!! I can handle expectations but the stereotypes, I can't and I won’t.

My mom wants me to be a lawyer and my dad thinks that being a CPA Lawyer is better so they convinced me to take Accountancy as my pre-Law course. Being undecided on what I wanted to become in my life, I took Accountancy, graduated and passed the licensure exams as CPA. After everything, this is still not the life I wanted to live. There is something missing and I am certain it can’t be filled by taking a post-graduate degree. As time passes by, my inclinations to creative stuff like culinary arts, fashion styling or interior designing starts to bloom.

Then I would hear those words again. My mind keeps on questioning, Why?

Why there is a certain typecasts when it comes to valedictorians and students with academic distinction? That if you are the valedictorian, then you must be a lawyer, CPA, engineer or doctor or any hardcore courses that will validate your intelligence? Why do you even have to maximize your brain if your heart is not on it? Will their intelligence be useless if they pursue something they have passion on or something that uses the heart more than the mind? And if I pursue being a lawyer and use my intelligence saving it from perceived futility, can they realize what will be squandered?

I remember a great homily. The priest asked, “Can you imagine if Michael Jackson did not pursue his passion in music or if Michael Jordan did not take his career on basketball? Do you think they can still be successful if they pursue other fields they are not passionate about?” That resolves all the confusion and I’ve come to a resolution that success is more likely to be achieved by people in pursuit of what they heart desires for because it only takes someone so passionate about his/her craft to never give up amidst failures. With this attitude, no wonder success will come handy.

Oh yes it is a great feeling to have a title added to the end of your name, much more before your name but the bottom line is: in life, we want to be happy and happiness cannot be measured in how much intelligence you have exuded in your academic life or how you show the maximum capacity of your brain by being a topnotcher in the bar/board exams, it is finding that “intersection” between your heart and your mind. Anyway, if you heart so desires, your mind will follow and conjoin to set the balance that can bring you to excel in everything you do.

Nothing is ever wasted for intelligence can be used in any aspect of your life. Intelligence won’t escaped your brain. Intelligence is like an eternal gift that once  endowed, it will always be yours to utilize. As long as you can make a living out of your passion, then what’s the big deal? Being intelligent is not limited to academics. Creativity is intelligence as well. Actually, I prefer to be intelligent in life.

Now, I already found that intersection. I did not pursue LAW but I started two small businesses, the small food business (where I can pour my passion for cooking) and the vintage online shop (where I can show my love for fashion). Moreover, I am thinking of starting with a training on patternmaking and basic sewing first and when my budget permits, I will take fashion styling as well.

(Disclaimer: I don’t have a thing with professionals. I am a professional myself and my sister have found her intersection in being a physician. This is just for those who are always told that their intelligence will be wasted if they pursue a course that are perceived to be easier and thus, not fit for a genius. C’mon!! No course discrimination guys!!! If your heart is on it, go for it!!!)

 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Meet my bunso: "Plumpykurvy" vintage online shop

Hello everyone! I am absent today for work coz I am not feeling well. I am not sick though. Maybe, I am just anxious because I am almost three-weeks delayed in my monthly period. Not that I might be pregnant (except if there is divine intervention), I am just worried because this is the first time it got delayed that long.

At any rate, eventhough I am not working in the office, I am still supervising Kriskat’s Kitchen (see my previous post for that) and moderating comments and orders on my instagram vintage online shop, Plumpykurvy.

As I was browsing on @Plumpykurvy, I realized I haven’t introduced the shop with you guys, not yet. Thus, ladies and gentleman, my other baby (youngest), @plumpykurvy. (By the way, I treat my business ventures as my kids. LOL)

Plumpykurvy is an instagram-based vintage online shop which caters to plus size women like me. Who would have known that it all started with an addiction?

I might be the most frugal person you could ever meet but there is an exception. Aside from beauty care products, you will find me splurging on clothes. Oh yes... I can never resist an elegant dress, a tailored-fit leggings, flattering skirt, unique tops or accessories that can matched them all. I admit I have an addiction on this, shopaholic, it is!

But don’t worry about draining my wallet, I don't buy on expensive fashion lines all the time. Most of the time, perhaps because of my penny-pinching, I enjoyed shopping in thrifty stores more. (way, way moreeeeeeeeeeee)

Why not? You can buy almost brand new imported clothes, sometimes with tag, in a very affordable price. Plus the designs are unique, not something you can see anywhere, and when you’ve found one, you can be sure that’s the only one you could find so worrying whether attending a party with someone who’s wearing the same dress as you will never be an issue. 

The only disadvantage is: it is pre-loved but when you buy something brand new and wear it once or twice, that’s already preloved. When you borrow something from a friend same size as you, that’s preloved. Thus, that’s not much of an issue to me. (Don't get me wrong guys... if you don't prefer preloved items... that's just fine..) After all, what’s the use of detergent bars and “Downy” if I can’t make it clean and fragrant, right? Also, I always scrutinize the material first before buying and won't buy items that is damaged. Believe me, I can stay there 3 straight hours just to look at everything in the rack one-by-one.

So much for that, going back to my addiction, as a result, I got a closet, 2 balikbayan boxes, 3 Plastic storage containers and 2 cabinets jam-packed with clothes. My mom is scolding me and telling me to stop buying clothes as there is no space for new purchases. But that did not stop me (stubborn alright!)  Rather, I thought of a solution, that is to sell the clothes I bought out of impulse (worn once or never worn) There are so many of them but the opportunity where I can dress up is less so i did not have the chance to wear them all. Hence, the creation of “Plumpykurvy”.


To my surprise, it is gaining a lot of plumpy followers. Well, who would not be tempted to buy effortlessly via instagram in a price of one Starbucks’ venti mocha cookie crumble? The price ranges from 150php to 250php. Now, that’s a real deal!

Thus, if you don’t mind buying preloved items in excellent condition? Too lazy to go out for shopping? Then follow @plumpykurvy in instagram.  I always have new uploads almost every week so check it out!

As a preview, here are some of the sold items that satisfied my customers:

 

This is definitely a great sideline. Also, this venture gives me the opportunity to meet big beautiful ladies like me so I would also like to thank all of my buyers which have became my friends... :-)

At the back of my mind, i knew i want something more. I want to design and sew clothes myself but it needs a little training, y'know!!! so watch out next year if I will be selling brand new items as well. ciao!!!!

Remember our mantra: "Style & Fashion is sizeless"

Monday, July 08, 2013

Risk worth taking (The Making of Kriskat's Kitchen)


Happy Monday guys!!! (sarcastic), start of a new week (5 days away from weekends…LOL) I have been busy with my vintage online shop in Instagram with the account name: @plumpykurvy. (please….please…please follow the shop guys, especially to my fellow plumpies!!!)
Also, as I have always been mentioning in my two previous posts, I just revived my blog but I promised I will continue blogging as regularly as possible so please do me another favor, follow this blog as well.
Anyway, because of my one-year dormancy (volcano ang peg!) from the blogging world, there are so many things that have transpired in my life (maybe that’s one of the reasons I stopped updating this blog) and I believe now is the time that I blog about it, one by one! Well, so overdue but it is better late than never!
In that one year, i experienced happiness and heartaches. However, I prefer not to talk about heartbreaks. Rather, let's focus on the great things that had happened, one of my successful ventures (with my mom and sister), kriskat's kitchen.

Last year of June, I had spent most of my time making a feasibility (sort of…but not the formal kind) of what business can I invest into. I have always believed that you can’t be rich by being an employee alone and investing in something, aside from your salary, that has the probability to earn, may not be a surefire way to riches but definitely, a smarter decision than depending on just your monthly wage.
But then, there are always risks involve but based on my calculation, with the help of my accounting knowledge, there is a slim chance that we will incur losses. Hence, I decided to venture into a small food business. Actually, I had two options in mind, food (I know how to cook and they say I have a knack for cooking) or fashion boutique but considering the location of our house (where the business will be built) and our target market in our area (which is from class C-E), food business is more likely to boom. The only disadvantage of food business is that it is exhausting and will take most of your time and your energy.
Believe me, everyone is doubting my idea and discouraging us from taking this risk. Even my mom is nervous about it because honestly, we have competitors (as in just across ours) that are already established in the food business for several years of operation. Nevertheless, we have no choice. We need to do this because we are in a brink of bankruptcy that time and if we don’t invest into something that can save us from falling off the edge, we’re done. Despite the risk and discouragements, I still insist on my plan and I bravely loan 150,000 from our office cooperative as starting capital (which I will be paying in two years through salary deduction…whew!) and we used almost everything in this undertaking (Yeah, I am a risk-taker!).  I don’t know if it will work but something inside me is saying “GO!!! YOU WILL NEVER KNOW UNLESS YOU TRY” and here we are on our 7th month!!!!
You can just imagined the anxiety we’ve felt on our first month but GOD is GOOD (all the time…), because happily and fortunately, Kriskat’s (Trivia: Kriskat’s came from the combination of me and my sister’s name, Kristine and Katrina) Kitchen is booming!!!!
Although, I am the one who loaned for this, I am just a co-owner and co-manager of Kriskat’s with my mother (serves as my gift to my mom) and my sister, who entered into the partnership after seeing how the business is doing well. Nonetheless, I still consider this business my “baby” because everything in this business is a fruit of my own mind. I conceptualize the business name and logo.
I created the menu that will fit our target market 
And yes, I also created the facebook page. I decided on the layout of the place, the colors of the walls, the type of menu board,
the plates and utensils to be used, etc. I did almost everything in the conceptualization stage.
Now, it is so fulfilling to realize that you’ve spent every cent in your pocket to enter into a risky business and you thrived all the way up. Moreover, it is more rewarding to know that you worked hard for it. I am still in awe every time I thought of how it all started in my little ambitious brain, of how once upon a time, it was just a dream. Indeed, dreams do come true if you are determined enough to make things happen.
I know this is just a small business but I believe everything starts from small things, right? It may mean nothing for people who were born with a silver spoon on their mouth or can borrow money from their parents for a business venture but for me, middle-class and an average earner, it means a lot! Here are the other pictures of kriskat's:
As of now, we already have an expanded menu...
Some of our bestsellers are lumpiang shanghai (php50.00), tapsilog (php40), honey chili chix rice toppings (php60), taco (php20) and short order of lechong kawali (php70). I hope someday you can visit us. 
I hope and pray that it will continue to flourish so that we can expand within two years.

Dreaming again? Nah…it is not just a dream now, it is a goal!!!

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Leopard printed vest: the experiment

Hello again! I hope you are having a great week as I am. Actually, I’ve been super busy with all the things I’ve been juggling with my little time. Just so you know, I am a CPA by profession, I have a full-time work, I have my small food business and a vintage online shop plus I have been educating myself on how to use my newly bought sewing machine. (I will blog a separate post about that) Conversely, I think being hectic is better than not having something that can make you busy, right? Nonetheless, I am planning to keep this blog going after I have revived it last week so here I am again!!!

Anyway, after I ransacked my closet in search for an all-white outfit for the Pinaycurvies swag blog link up challenge (see my previous post), I have found few precious pieces of clothing which I have kept in the bottom of my treasure chest for so long. As a backgrounder, the treasure chest is where I keep the things I wear less or have never been worn ever and those I wear often are hanged in a closet.

One of which is a leopard printed vest that was gifted to me by my ever-loving aunt from US. Quite frankly, I am not a fan of vests so I am giving myself a challenge of styling these cute-sy vest and let’s see if I will eventually be a fan of it.

I have made 4 looks out of it as follows:

PARTY GLAM – To have this look, I used a body hugging black dress which I bought from a thrift store. (I know you are guessing how cheap this ensemble is. Well, I love cheap ensembles because it just proves that it need not be expensive to be stylish and fashionable. Amen to that!) Actually, the dress I used here is not my size, thus, tight and the type that I will not be using alone and this vest works well on making the dress look less fitted. I think the only thing that is kinda expensive (not super) is the black wedge I got from a factory outlet in Clark, Pampanga.

SMART CASUAL – This is my OOTD for today. I match the vest with a collared blouse, leggings and flats. Out of all the looks, this is the most comfortable and  I can say that the vest gives this look a twist.

CORPORATE CHIC – Who says this vest is just an outerwear and can’t be worn otherwise? Hell no! Out of experimentation, I tried to use it as an innerwear of a corporate blazer paired it with a ruffled skirt (from Full Circle SM Ladies Fashion)  and voila! I want this outfit but unfortunately, I can’t wear this for work because we have an office uniform from Monday-Thursday and wearing this in a wash-day Friday where almost all the employees is in an informal wear, this spells over-dressing!!!

DRESSY CASUAL – This is a last-minute laid-back type of outfit. I just use a cute pink tube dress (from a thrift store again… pardon my frugality) and topped it with this vest. 5 minutes and then done! Perhaps, I will use this for a lunch-out with my friends one of these days.

VERDICT: I love it!!! This took a lot of my time but it is worth it! I didn’t know, not until now, that vests can be versatile. It can complement any kinds of clothing, may it be a collared blouse, long sleeves, dress, leggings or even blazers (can you believe that?). I may not love it inasmuch as I love leggings or maxi dresses but I am certain I will be wearing it more often than before. This vest had definitely earned the right to be hanged in my closet. :-)