Monday, October 20

Travel: Dream It, Build It in Grand Rapids

Before we went to Legoland in California, we had a glimpse of some Lego masterpieces at Grand Rapids Public Museum. The exhibit was titled "Dream It, Build It", and it featured famous architectural buildings. These aren't the retail ones you see sold in Lego stores. It was built by Certified Lego Professional Adam Reed Tucker.

I know this is super late and the Dream It, Build It exhibit has already come and gone, but here are some of the photos we took.

Here's Burj Khalifa (located at Dubai, UAE and designed by Skidmore, Owens and Merrill) at the entrance. See? It's sooo tall that I can't even fit the whole building in the frame.



Gateway Arch (St. Louis, MO) designed by Eero Saarinen and Haanskarl Bandel



World Trade Center North Tower (New York, NY) designed by Minory Yamasaki with Emery Roth & Sons | Empire State Building (New York, NY) designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon



Marina City (Chicago, IL) designed by Bertrand Goldberg


Look at the gorgeous details.




Fallingwater (Mill Run, PA) designed by Frank Lloyd Wright



Transamerica Pyramid (San Francisco, CA) designed by William Perreira



They also had this area where kids can play with Lego bricks on the table and on the wall.



Another area was dedicated to little (and big) spies. You get a list of items and you have to look for them in this Lego town.




Someone was so tired, she had to sit down on the ledge.


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Monday, October 13

The Next Big Food Entrepreneur


I love food-related events, and I try to always go find new stuff (food, that is) to taste and enjoy. So to you, my budding food entrepreneur readers, here is something that might interest you.

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HOW TO BECOME THE NEXT BIG FOOD ENTREPRENEUR THIS HOLIDAY SEASON


Aside from being the country’s premier night food market destination, Mercato Centrale has helped give birth to some of the country’s newest and most innovative food concepts.  Popular chains like Manang’s Chicken, Merry Moo Ice Cream, Mochiko, Brasas Latin American Street Food, Spring by Ha-Yuan, Kristina’s Premium Inutak, Baked by Anita, and many more started off as food stalls in Mercato Centrale before they became successful food businesses. 

But prior to their multi-million food ventures, many of these entrepreneurs started off as home-based food businesses or just passionate cooks and bakers who had a pioneering food concept, unique style of cooking, or a secret or heirloom recipe that they ‘incubated’ in the Mercato Centrale food market.

Building on its commitment to support food entrepreneurship, Mercato Centrale brings back its much-awaited “Next Big Food Entrepreneur Contest” along with www.ourawesomeplanet.com, Mastercard, Globe My Business and partners Entrepreneur Magazine, Yummy Magazine, Yummy Ph, Philippine Star, WhenInManila.com and Go Negosyo.

Now on its third year, The Next Big Food Entrepreneur contest is a culinary showdown that provides an opportunity for budding food entrepreneurs from all walks of life to turn their food business concepts into reality! The winner of the contest will get PHP 100,000 start up capital, a rent-free stall in Mercato Centrale for six months, and a feature in Entrepreneur Magazine, Yummy, The Philippine Star, WhenInManila.com, Globe My Business Digital and Our Awesome Planet.

The Next Big Food Entrepreneur is open to all aspiring food entrepreneurs, ages 18 years old and above, residing in the Philippines.  The contest is divided into three parts: a food taste test activity for all interested participants, a four-weekend open market selling event at Mercato Centrale, Bonifacio Global City for all participants who pass the taste test, and finally, the submission of a business plan.  The cut-off for all interested participants for the food taste test is October 31, 2014. 

For more information on how to join the contest, please visit Mercato Centrale on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/mercatocentrale,  or contact +639178401152 or +6329175857989.

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Wednesday, September 17

QiWellness Living -- An Epitome of Relaxation


Pronounced as chi, qi in Mandarin means energy -- the life force in everything. Aptly named after this term, QiWellness Living in Tagaytay promotes a very sensorial experience and a place to relax and unwind from the urban jungle that is Manila.


QiWellness Living is discreetly tucked along the main road in Tagaytay, and even if we frequent Tagaytay, we weren't able to notice it when we went there a couple of Saturdays back to sample their 8-course Yin-Yang dinner menu. I was told that the place has an unobstructed view of Taal but we didn't get to see it because we arrived well after the sun has already set.


A couple of red doors with brass lion door knockers greeted us from the entrance. The same brass lion door knockers adorn a couple of other rooms inside but with a black door. The good people of QiWellness gave us a tour of the place. As with most places in Tagaytay on the side of the volcano, the entrance is located on the topmost floor. We also found the kitchen and a big dining table in the Ming-era style on the same level. As we went down, there is a really old-looking tree that was very nicely lit. I thought that it contributed to the ambiance of the place.



I was a bit surprised that as we entered, there was a loud sound of a gong. They sound it every time a guest arrives. It was alright during the first couple of times, but I felt that it became too much after a while. Haha. Nakakagulat lang everytime they sound it.



On the floor below, we saw the tea house complete with a tiled roof that reminded us of the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Countless tea kettles adorn the back wall of the bar. Clear glass railings sits on the Taal viewing side. More seating for al fresco dining can be found here. On the other side of the floor, we were ushered to the Opium den, where you can get the Qiharmony or Qireflexology services. It was dark and red, but air conditioned. The area was divided by curtains. I guess the only thing missing was actual opium. Hahaha.


Further down are a couple of jacuzzis, which comprise most of the bath house. The yin yang pools reflect the opposing nature of yin and yang -- black and white, hot and cold. Oh, did I mention that while you're soaking in the pools, you see the view of Taal? Wow, right? I am so coming back here during the day. There's also a steam room nearby and a couple of private massage rooms on the side. These rooms may be converted into bedrooms for those who want to stay overnight.

After the tour, we got ready for dinner. Because it was evening and I only brought my phone with me, these photos don't do the food justice.


My favorite was the scallop dish.


I think it was reasonably priced and we loved the food they served. My husband and I are both fans of tasting menus and the summer dinner menu of QiWellness Living definitely didn't disappoint.


QiWellness Living
Aguinaldo Highway, Brgy. Maharlika East,
Tagaytay City, Philippines
+63 917 522 6969
www.qiwellness.ph


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Thursday, September 4

Crafts/DIY: Chalkboard Paint Tutorial


I've been looking for chalkboard paint, and although I've found some, there are only a few colors available. Well, what do you know? You can customize your own chalkboard paint color by using just two materials:

* 1 cup of latex paint -- This can be any color of your choice so there's unlimited colors you can use.
* 1 to 2 tbsp of unsanded tile grout

All you have to do is mix them extremely well and there you go, you can now start painting using your own chalkboard paint.

Wouldn't it be cuter if these black backgrounds were another color, say pink?



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Wednesday, August 27

Paper Flowers Workshop


My paper flowers workshop in Metro Manila is just around the corner. You can choose to attend either of the two dates -- September 13 or September 20. They're both Saturdays, at 1pm to 4pm. The first workshop will be held at Gourdo's in Bonifcatio Global City, Taguig. The second one will be at World Market down in Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa. If you'd like to know more about it, send me an email at crafted_ph@yahoo.com or call Gourdo's 24-hour hotline at +632 812-3022.

I am super excited as this is my first collaboration with Gourdo's and my family knows how much I love that brand especially now that they have craft supplies in their stores.

I've been practicing and perfecting the art of getting color effects on my paper flowers, and yes, I will be teaching how to do those during the workshop and I will be giving a handful of these dyed and bleached paper sheets in the kits too. I tried using my dip-dyed and bleached paper sheets on peonies and camellias, and the result is kinda awesome. I am so in love with paper flowers that my workspace is covered in them.

I made some crepe paper peonies using three different types of technique: plain, dip dyed, bleached. I used plain luxe crepe paper for the cream-colored peony. For the pink peony on the right, I got some plain pink crepe paper that was bleached and then dip dyed. The white, dip dyed in pink, peony on the top left is probably the most "favorited"of the three in my other social media accounts.


For these tissue paper camellias (I think that's what they look like), I used plain tissue paper (purple) and bleached tissue paper.



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