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Archive for 2013-02-24

In Full Bloom: Joie de Vivre (outfit post)

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       Everything is better said in French. Whether it be an expression of joy, amazement, dismay or yearning for food (just like Dexter who uttered nothing but "omelet du fromage" during majority of one episode), the language of love is truly more than just a bunch of complex words that sound like word salad when put together. What about using a phrase in French to name your clothing line? Belle Ortiz of Joie de Vivre had done just that! Joie de Vivre, which translates to "Joy of Life", is an online clothing store that sells youthful and vibrant clothes with a touch of classiness. Founded by two UP Diliman students, their aim is not just to make ladies feel beautiful, but to enhance what they feel is the most important characteristic of a woman - her confidence. Belle conveyed her reason behind the clothing line's name, "I felt that this phrase (joy of life) captured the essence of online shopping, which is to find clothes and accessories that are unique as well as reasonable in terms of price range without having to leave the comfort of your own home. It sort of stimulates the experience of buying in Greenhills or St. Francis Square."

             I had been looking for a bright floral dress months prior to this post, so when I received this beautiful floral dress in the mail, I was delighted to try it on and it fit like a glove! The colors are a  wonderful prelude to the upcoming summer season. 

The neckline, apart from the bright colors, is what gives it a youthful touch.

The cut-out at the back adds boldness to the dress without looking tacky. 

I've worn this dress 3 times already before publishing this post, for obvious reasons. It's easy to wear and I love how light it is!

        I've always been skeptical about online shopping, especially when it comes to clothes. Not being able to fit into the clothes you ordered despite the size chart on display can be frustrating. However, Belle has a more sanguine line of thinking with regards to this, "I find that it's part of the charm of shopping online, much like getting a surprise - you never can tell what you'll get. But you're fortunate if the owner of the store has a knack for estimating your size and is honest enough to tell you it won't fit. Haha." I think Belle just described herself, as she really does have a flair for picking the right size whenever customers place an order.

     The wonderful team behind Joie de Vivre are Belle Ortiz (who handles everything from mechandising to contacting clientele), Julia Pacificador (make-up artist) and Markyn Kho (photographer). All of Joie de Vivre's models are also from UP Diliman.

Check out Joie de Vivre's Facebook page and hit "like" to get updates on their latest collections! Follow them on instagram too: @ysabelreginaortiz. 

The Joie de Vivre team is very open-minded about doing collaborations (styling, make-up, photography), shoots and projects outside Joie de Vivre so feel free to send a message through their Facebook account or through this number:  0917-866-8040 :)  

Hey Cupcake!

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        I know, I know. This is my nth post about cupcakes, but what can I say? Cupcakes have been pretty consistent in maintaining its status as "the" dessert to beat at the moment. I noticed how most of the home bakers who make cupcakes are based in Makati or Quezon City, which makes deliveries and pick-ups more complex as I live about an hour or two away from those places, respectively. So, when I found out the Patricia Jose of hey cupcake! was from Alabang, just within my area, I let out a big *PHEW*. While browsing through hey cupcake's Facebook page, I couldn't help but giggle as I read some of the typography photos posted on her timeline about cupcakes such as "Friends are good. Friends are better with cupcakes" and "You can't buy happiness, but you CAN buy cupcakes and that's sort of the same thing". As I looked through the photos of the cupcakes, my eyes widened when I saw variants based on chocolate bars such as Hershey's Milk Chocolate, Hershey's Cookies 'n' Cream, Reese's, Toblerone White, Nutella, Snickers and of course Red Velvet Cupcakes and Chewy Cookies.

Red Velvet Cupcakes (P300/box of 6)
            I was able to try the Red Velvet variant, a half-dozen dozen box to be exact. I adore the little red hearts at the tip of the icing on the cupcakes. If Snow White were a cupcake, this would be her. I did say this was a half-dozen box but there are only four in this photograph, yes? Well, there's a story behind that - I usually dorm in-campus during the weekdays and Patricia's cousin was nice enough to give me the cupcakes since we both go to the same school. Late night studying and 8 exams in one week is enough to stimulate my cravings for sweets (I think you know where I'm going with this). I wanted to save all six cupcakes until the end of the week just in time for their "photo op", but alas, not all of them made it home. Anyway, enough of the food drama!

         Cupcake frosting is beginning to make a name for itself - it's a smoother version of whipped sugar and although some may contest that this one was made too sweet, I enjoyed every bit of it! Its "partner", the cake base, complemented the richness of the frosting. Mmm. I tried hard to resist eating all of them in one sitting, but the only thought that kept me from doing just that was me publishing a food feature with no photos - one of my absolute worst nightmares. 

        Patricia started hey cupcake! as soon as she noticed how quickly it was making its way to dessert lovers' "must have" list, "After graduating from college, I observed that cupcakes had become a dessert favorite. So, I tried to come up with flavors that are unique and attractive and offered them initially on a limited scope." She wanted an appealing and catchy name to go with her cupcake line, which captures what one would say as soon they lay their eyes on their favorite cupcake coupled with a loud gasp, of course. 

        Patricia is no stranger to local bazaars. After being a part of COCINA (an event by UP Diliman), Soderno and The Village Bazaar, hey cupcake has garnered a following both from opposite ends of the Metro. This can be attributed to Patricia's burning desire to put up her own business as well as her training, "I've been into baking since my secondary school days. I really wanted to have my own pastry business and so I pursued it after graduating from college. I took up BS Hotel & Restaurant Management and attended baking classes."

Prices for all the cupcake flavors are as follows: P50/piece, P300/box of 6, P600/box of 12. Orders can be made through Facebook, email or by phone. Pick-up points are in Alabang and Las Pinas.

0927-2030504 / 0947-4086735

The Chocolate Love Affair

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         "Love? I'd rather fall in chocolate." Those are strong words to live by, especially when you consider chocolate sufficient enough to "fill the void". I imagine unattached people uttering those words on Valentine's Day to themselves and their peers with functional relationships. I can't blame them. Food is one of the few things that works so easily as a pacifier, especially chocolate in particular. Known as one of the most studied aphrodisiacs there, chocolate soothes more than just our taste buds. However, Christina Erika Jacob, Athena Rafer and Richard Balatan of The Chocolate Love have taken their affair with the famous and well-loved sweet treat a couple notches higher. I let out a giggle when I found out their business was established on Valentine's Day and that it spawned from Christina's intent of getting something for her boyfriend, "We are all HRM students from the University of Perpetual Help System DELTA. It started when I (Ecks) was trying to find the perfect Valentine's gift for Richard. Athena suggested that I should make homemade chocolates. After that, I asked Athena if they could sell chocolates on Valentine's Day too. Richard helped make chocolates after Valentine's Day." And then, The Chocolate Love was born. Everything was just so fitting. 

            The product they started selling first were the customized heart-shaped chocolates. Other sweets like chocolate lollipops, chocolate bars, Chocolate wontons (or "Chocmai" as Richard calls them), cupcakes, Fried Twix and the beloved fried Oreo. Ever since Flaming Wings offered Wicked Oreos (which are deep-fried Oreos topped with ice cream) on their dessert menu, people began making their own at home and see it as a fun activity to do with friends and family. Of course, we all have days when we just wanna plop ourselves on our beds and do nothing but eat, right? Well,  The Chocolate Love team (no, the owners are not made of chocolate) can make your life just a wee bit easier cause they personally deliver your orders.

         I got to try a box with some of their products, mostly composed of the 3 best sellers on their line-up: Fried Marshmallows, Fried Oreos and Cake Pops, along with a Choco and Mallow Pop. They also sell edible cake toppers, Chocolate Covered Potato Chips, Leche Flan and Cakes in a Jar, among other things. These would make great giveaways for parties as they also customize the chocolates they make. Plus, everything is made to order so you're sure to get a fresh batch of sweets.

Fried Oreo (P12 each)

         Biting into an Oreo is one thing, biting into an Oreo that's covered in pancake batter and deep-fried until golden brown is another story. 

Fried Marshmallow (P 6 each)
       I never thought anyone would try frying a marshmallow given that it's soft, gooey and chewy. The Chocolate Love team added a layer of chocolate as the treat's surprise element. I asked the owners what separates them from other homebakers and they had this to say, "I think it's because we make sure our customers are 1000000000% satisfied. We make sure that our customers are happy with their orders. Last December, I made cake pops so many times, to no avail. But when a customer ordered Christmas-themed Cake Pops, we took it as a challenge and gave our 100% in making it even thought we didn't offer cake pops at that time."

Cake Pop (P25 each)
        What is a Cake Pop, you ask? It's basically a small portion of cake with a stick and takes the round shape of a lollipop. I think I would have 10 (or more) of these instead of a huge slice of cake on a day wherein I'd trick myself into thinking I'd be eating less. *teehee* 

There are a bunch of other desserts The Chocolate Love sells, so go ahead and check out their Facebook page and see for yourself! Orders can be made through their Facebook page and contact information listed below.


The Chocolate Love
0917-527-6511 / 0906-175-0337
Vergonville, Subdivision, 1742 Las Pinas