Benefit Cosmetics Is Now At Ayala Center, Cebu

One of my favorite make up brands, especially when it comes to dope brows products, is finally within arms reach!

Following the success of their first branch in SM Seaside, Benefit Cosmetics has moved closer to us city gals and is now located at the New Wing of Ayala Center, Cebu (right across Zara Men).

Their newest branch is plastered with their signature bright pink colors with fine touches of lemon yellow and eye catching slogans all over their walls- giving ladies the best make up experience they could ever ask for. But my favorite part about this new make up haven is the vanity section which allows women to play around with make up under perfect lighting and comfortable chairs.

Here’s an inside look:

I took a jab at the bushy eyebrow trend thinking I wouldn’t be able to but thanks to the magic of Benefit’s awesome brow products- I am officially a cool girl 😉

Make sure to follow Benefit cosmetics on their Facebook & IG for exclusive opening promos!

xx,
Issa G.

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Vintage Party Dresses Online

I’ve been lurking online again looking for interesting fashion buys to add to my ever growing collection of clothes. Lately I’ve been inspired by polka dots and vintage finds much like the housewives of the 1950’s mostly because they always look so happy in accomplished in photos. lol.

If you follow me on my Instagram, you’ll notice a little pop of vintage dressing every once in a while on my feed and I’ve been keen on adding even more pieces from this era of fashion.

Upon my quest, I was able to run into a quaint site called Zapaka which is a lovely e-commerce site that is sure to entice any vintage fashion loving woman. So far, here are some pieces that absolutely blew me away…

 

While I am in love with these designs, I am a bit concerned that they silhouettes probably won’t suit my petite figure but I just can’t help but gush at them anyways! I am absolutely in love with the white Marilyn Monroe-esque dress and I think that all the details on the polka dot dress are absolutely amazing.

In all honesty, I feel like my first two options are a bit costume-y and I would have to keep it in my closet for a very special occasion so a nice compromise for little ol me is this straight cut baby doll dress with these amazing ruffled neckline and sleeve details. What a beauty! As

As I did more research, I found this cute video that zapaka.com posted which is such a nice inspiration for anyone who’s a bit hesitant to spice up their wardrobe. It’s always nice to work with some inspiration and if this isn’t it, I don’t know what else is 😛

What do you think about my cart?

xx,
Issa G.

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[VLOG] Fresh & Fast Everyday Make Up Look!

 

I’ve been getting a lot of compliments about looking more “blooming” lately which is quickly connected to questions if this is my pregnancy glow. Sneaky, sneaky. But no, it’s not. More over, it’s an improved skin care routine which I’ve heavily invested on lately thanks to my favorite- Dara Beauty Market

Nothing much has changed with my beauty routine in the past year but I thought I would show you how I did my make up anyways. TBH, I’ve been really lazy when it comes to make up but ya’ll seem to really like how I’ve been doing it so here I am sharing it.

Hope you enjoy!

xx,
Issa G.

Island Hopping in Cebu: A Pandanon Photo Diary + Details

Bikini: H&M| Flip flops: Havaianas| Shades: Forever21

Boat service– 0925 725 1497 (Debbie)
Php 4,000.00 for boat good for 30 people

Pungko-pungko in a boxKusina ni Sir

Lechon – Kharmen

Pandanon entrance – p 150.00/ head

Cottage – P 400.00

Smiles, friends and sun– FREE

PhotosAlex Eturma

xx,
Issa G.

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10 Places You Should Check out at AyalaMalls’ The Walk & Central Bloc, Cebu IT Park

7 hours, 10 restaurants, 1 very full woman. This was how my Wednesday afternoon- mid evening went as I explored, dare I say “food crawled” my way through the select restaurants located at AyalaMalls’ The Walk & Central Bloc in IT Park.

This Bite Sites activity which was hosted by none other than AyalaMalls was a nice refresher & eye opener for myself and for my fellow friends of the media as we were introduced to new dishes and restaurants and reminded of oldies but goodies.

In this post, I will be sharing the 10 spots which we went to and sharing some important information about each establishment. Of course I will not be reviewing every single thing we ate but I do hope that you can drop by these restos and share your insights in the comment section below!

COFFEE BEAN & TEA LEAF
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CBTL has been one of my favorite coffee shops for a while now! Their ever changing and growing menu allows me to not just enjoy their coffee but also experiment with their seasonal offerings a lot of which I have shared on the blog or on my Instagram feed.

I also think that of all the coffee shop chains, CBTL’s cakes are to die for. While I’ll admit to not being a huge muffin fan, it certainly fills the spot for a hungry person on the go.

Located at: Central Bloc

CASA VERDE
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Casa Verde is known for a lot of things particularly their ribs, their affordable and delicious steaks, their huge burgers, ice cream cakes and overall, just really great food. I’ve been a fan of their offerings ever since I was in high school and it’s been a frequent go to spot for a lot of social gatherings.

During our stop there, I was introduced to a couple new favorites- the beef burrito and this huge burger! Would you just look at it?!

This huge mound of meat is more than just a novelty- it’s a feast! Each layer of meat (burger patty, steak, chicken finger, pulled pork, bacon) is finely cooked until tender and juicy making it the perfect dish for bonding with people who equally enjoy a good, meaty meal.

Located at: The Walk

MOOON CAFE
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Mooon Cafe, as I would remember it, is one of the oldest Mexican themed semi- fast food restaurants in Cebu. Back when Mexican food wasn’t a thing, it was Mooon that introduced us to quesadillas, fajitas and lots of other Mexican inspired dishes that go perfectly well with their suncooler drinks (best with alcohol. lol). Now, they currently have 3 branches and are an old favorite for anyone who is in need of comfort good in generous servings and at affordable prices.

I’m a sucker for their mozarella fish fillet, fish tacos (not in photo), gambas and am now wishing that I had a go at there fajitas.

Located at: The Walk

JONIE’S SIZZLERS ROAST
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Admittedly, it was my first time to ever try our Jonie’s Sizzler’s Roast but I now laugh at how quickly I sat on their floors for this cute photo op.

I found their pork barbecue to be quite juicy and I liked their sauce but I honestly wished that the piece I had picked up was not too charred. I did really like the theatrics of how they made their dishes sizzle and I think that this spot would be a great option for anyone who wants good food that’s served fast.

Located at: The Walk

 MUSIC ONE KTV
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Music One, while first being a karaoke spot, is not to be underestimated for their food. With lots of variants to choose from, party goers can definitely expect a full, happy stomach with their offerings. I really liked their cheese sticks and wishes that I had gotten more but over all, I like their food as much as I like their impressive karaoke system.

Located at: The Walk

BOY ZUGBA
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Boy Zugba is not only a treat for your stomach, it’s a treat for your eyes and funny bone, as well. With their many one liners and witty menu items, they’ve not only managed to tickle my curiosity they’ve also found a way to add a nice and unique twist to a lot of Filipino dishes.

With certain delicacies like Cab- cab, which I’ve seemed to take for granted, Boy Zugba was able to find a unique way to present this interesting dish to customers and spark interest in it. Honestly, it was the first time I had ever tried it and I was pretty surprised at how something so thin could pack so much flavor!

Other dishes I liked were their humba, pancit and chicken skin. It’s a shame I was pretty full by the time we sat to eat here because I have a feeling I would like a lot of their other dishes, as well.

Located at: Central Bloc

GIBBS’ HOT WINGS
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Gibbs’ is no stranger to the Issaplease space and will always have a special place in my heart (and stomach), having been my very first restaurant sponsor back when issaplease was just a fresh, wide eyed blogger.

My favorites will forever be their Angel wings, potato wedges (not in photo) & mac and cheese that also go great with their signature juice drinks.

I don’t know what else to tell you guys, I really do think Gibbs’ is the best chicken wing spot in Cebu and if you’ve never had it- what are you even doing in life?

Located at: Central Bloc

SACHI AUTHENTIC JAPANESE RAMEN OKONOMIYAKI
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Ok, let me be the first person to tell you that I’m not a fan of ramen for a multitude of reasons and while that hasn’t quite changed over frequent events, I do appreciate that Sachi offers other equally good and authentic Japanese options.

Okonomiyaki & Takoyaki aren’t exactly dishes that I am familiar with but these flavorful dishes certainly hit the right spot for me, despite not really knowing what they were. lol.

Located at: Central Bloc

BIGBY’S
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When I am not raving about Bigby’s Tiki Wacky Chicken Salad (not in photo), I am off enjoying their other dishes that have been inspired from different dishes and cuisines from all over the world. I alway believe in finding out about a new place through their food and it’s always a treat experiencing Bigby’s take on other countries’ dishes.

I was quite eager to have some greens in my system after having gone through soo much meat and their Japanese salad definitely did not disappoint. It had a nice mixture of Japanese flavors, including nori, which I thought was an interesting flavor to have in a salad. It worked for me.

I also really enjoyed their pasta and finger foods like chicken fingers, quesadillas and nachos.

Location: Central Bloc

BANAPPLE
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I had heard about Banapple even before they had landed in Cebu and always thought of the place as a great little nook where you can enjoy everything from dessert, breakfast and even lunch/ dinner.

While they are commonly known for their wonderful desserts, their food offerings are not something to be forgotten and in the months that they’ve been in Cebu, I’ve grown to love their dishes that come in large servings which is great after a late night out.

Just recently, they’ve rolled out a couple Cebu exclusive dishes namely their Savory Longganisa & Mango Toffee cake. I was lucky enough to get an exclusive first taste of these items and I’d have to say, it hits pretty close to home in terms of how we Cebuano’s enjoy our sausages and desserts. It’s a definite must try!

Located at: Central Bloc

Press

AyalaMalls excites this year’s fourth quarter by bringing its newest development, AyalaMalls Central Bloc. This regional mall is a 45,000SQM establishment along Padriga Street, Cebu IT Park. It is a five-storey complex with over 270 establishments for retail, dining and entertainment.

The upcoming mall is your next vibrant hang-out destination where the balance of work and play thrives. It will feature trending & practical retail concepts, refreshing dining outlets, an extensive IT zone, and venues to chill out. With its four cinemas, people working and living in the area won’t go far to catch the latest blockbusters.

For the latest updates, follow @AyalaMallsCentralBloc on Facebook and Instagram, and @CentralBloc on Twitter.

You may also follow (and use the hashtags), #AyalaMalls #CentralBloc #BiteSites for official postings, and photos tagged by the community.

 

What are your favorite restaurants at The Walk/ Central Bloc?

xx,
Issa G.

#RICOmeback! Rico’s Lechon Opens Their Newest & Biggest Branch in Cebu (+ MENU)

Rico’s Lechon is FINALLY back in business and what better way to celebrate their return than by opening a new branch! Their newest branch, located at Unit F1 Jamestown, Mantawi International Drive, Mandaue City is able to accommodate a whopping 300 people and even has ample outdoor parking spaces.

Unlike their other branches, this outlet also comes with 4-5 private function rooms that can accommodate a large group of 80 people or smaller groups of 20.

Their bright and festive interiors are a true patronage to our Filipino culture and are a great reminder of how Lechon is best eaten- in celebration, with the people that we love.


Private room (good for 80 pax)


Private room (good for 20)


Private room (good for 20)


Outdoor parking area

 

With the return of their business, Rico’s has also included a few new dishes for everyone to enjoy such as Grilled Pork Belly, Grilled Daing na Bangus, Ginataang Laing, Chicken Binakol, Beef Ampalaya, Sizzling Adobong Pusit, Buttered Mixed Seafoods, Seaweed Salad, Sisig Fried Rice, Chorizo Fried Rice, Sinigang na Bone-less Bangus, Sinigang na Baka at Baboy, and Seafood Sotanghon.

Classic favorites namely their  Special Boneless Bangus, Sizzling Lechon Sisig, Monggos, Bicol Express, Kinilaw Na Tangigue (Ceviche), Calamares, Camaron Rebosado, Garlicky Squid Balls, Sinigang, Pinakbet, Chopsuey, and Pancit Canton can also still be found on their menu.

Here is their complete menu:

Don’t usually find yourself in the Mandaue area? Rico’s lechon also has branches in Mactan Promenade & Axis Entertainment Avenue, Cebu, which is set to open next month!

If you’re in Manila and are currently craving for the world’s best pig- Rico’s Lechon also has branches in Metro Manila namely BGC, Gloriette 1, Tiendesitas, UP Town Center and SM Mall of Asia.

For more information, visit ricoslechon.com or contact 253-4650 or 0917-823-8263.

For updates like and follow @RicosLechonOFFICIAL on Facebook and Instagram.

xx,
Issa G.

Italian Dining in Cebu: Trattoria Da Gianni, Crossroads

Stepping into Trattoria Da Gianni felt like I was walking into someone’s home. It was as if I was transported into some Italian family’s dining room that would soon be filled with lots of laughs and chatter. It was cozy, welcoming and familiar.

For someone like me who is often conscious about not knowing what to eat or order at new restaurants, I was surprised at how “accommodating” their menu was. Initially, I had envisioned offerings that were too hard to pronounce, much more for my palate to comprehend but I was sweetly surprised at how familiar I was with their dishes. The descriptions also really helped. lol!

It also helped that their staff was extremely accommodating and if I ever had any questions about any of the dishes, they were quick to explain and share insights making the process a lot easier and more interesting.

Here’s what we had:


Quatro Formagi, Parma Ham & Mozzarella and Garden Basil Bruschette
(P 140.00 each)


Polpo Salad – Steam Octopus, Arugula, Potatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Parsley and Lemon Vinaigrette @ P 275.00


Spaghetti with Scallops – Seared Scallops, Shrimps, Black Olives, Capers & Parsley @ P 390.00


Osso Buco – Slow Cooked Beef Shank with Potatoes  @ P 800.00 (for sharing)

Tiramisu Espresso (For sharing) – Layers of Savoiardi Ladyfingers, Coffee, Mascarpone and Cacao prepared at your table – P 360.00

There’s a misconception that Italian food is bland but if you do your research and talk to the right people, you’ll learn that Italian cuisine is more about the quality of the ingredients they use rather than grandeur preparations and theatrics.

Yes, I will admit that there wasn’t an explosion of flavors in my mouth and that I wish the servings were a tad more but eating their food felt like my tongue was getting a warm embrace. It felt like a meal that you could have everyday without ever getting sick of and as subtle and simple as some of the dishes were- it was a meal I wanted to share (again) with someone I love.

I would definitely recommend this place especially to friends who are interested in foreign cuisines. It’s definitely one of those places that stays true to their history and flavors- which if I’m not trying to beat around the bush means: it doesn’t try too much to appeal to the Filipino taste. I’m definitely not saying that it’s a bad thing, I really respect that, but it’s definitely something that your extremely Pinoy lola probably wouldn’t appreciate.

Trattoria Da Gianni
Crossroads, Banilad
For reservations: +63 9778422786

xx,
Issa G.

p.s. It’s never too early for wine! <3

SRP’s Rising Township Offers Open Spaces for Rest & Play

Filinvest’s City di Mare (CDM), a 50 hectare master planned township in South Road Properties (SRP) recently brought together the Cebuano community in a weekend full of arts, eats and beats through one of the most exciting outdoor events in the city, Summer Pop-up at City di Mare. True to its character as a township that aspires to seamlessly integrate the beauty of the great outdoors into modern city living, the event was held in a pleasing park setting, the open park near its visitors’ center. By encouraging everyone to step out and appreciate the green open spaces through events like this, CDM provides a venue for the community to come together and make meaningful memories.

Featured in The Summer Pop-up at City di Mare were musical performances by electronic artist Wicked Adobo, and talented homegrown acts Vincent Eco and the Wonggoys. Another highlight of the event was the live art activity by commissioned Cebu based artists where the 21x6meter wall near the Open Park has been transformed into a colorful mural and portions of the two-lane roads now have street arts perfect for snaps. City di Mare also launched its life-sized game installations which are available every day for kids and kids at heart to play for free. This park, along with the events grounds, is a testament to CDM’s desire to create functional green spaces.

“Summer Pop-up at City di Mare aims to bring the community together in this park where everyone can chill and enjoy. At City di Mare, we would want to redefine city living by introducing a live-work-play lifestyle all with nature as the backdrop,” Filinvest Alabang Inc Vice President for Townships Don Ubaldo shared. “We at City di Mare would want to provide the residents, locators and visitors not only a progressive, master-planned township set in relaxed setting, but one that enriches lives as well,” Ubaldo furthered.

“The Summer Pop-up event is just the beginning to a more dynamic and inclusive community. In the years to come, we intend for people to expect more life, more spaces and more choices here in City di Mare.” 

Bridal Diaries: Our Wedding Vows

Hi Everyone! Sharing with everyone our wedding vows/ SDE.

If you’ll notice, there are two videos- the first one (Our Wedding Video) is by our videographer, James Jayson Ty. Since we were not allowed to exchange our personal vows at the church, I requested that James include them in our SDE. But actually, I had something else up my sleeve… I had secretly made my own vows, compiling old videos that I had kept of me and Paolo.

I wrote my vows a day before the wedding because the typical overthinking self of mine overthought the vows until it sucked the life out me! But luckily I remembered a blog post I had written was I was younger and I couldn’t help but share it on our wedding day.

I hope you like it and that it gives you inspiration if you’re a bride to be, as well!

xx,
Issa G.