Birthday Art Tambay

A few months ago, we celebrated Ivy and Hannah’s birthday. We had dinner at one of my recommended restaurants near our area. Before that though, we had an art tambay first with Aira. (and a special guest!)

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I was the first to arrive at our usual meetup place. After ordering my drink, I noticed that another group was holding a watercolor session as well! It looked like one was teaching the basics to the other girl.

It turns out that Aira knew the one teaching LOL and after their watercolor lesson, Aira invited her to our table. Her name’s Paola (@paola_koala), a teacher from a school nearby.

Around this time, I was doing the #ComeFloralwithUs prompt.

After our art tambay session, Hannah and I met up with Ivy at Fishermall before going to Zaan, a sort of hidden Japanese restaurant at Mother Ignacia. I don’t have photos of the restaurant or the food, but Inggo did a review of our visit a few months back. We chose this place solely for the reason to joke about “Zaan tayo kakain?” or “Kung zaan zaan na tayo pumunta today!”. HAHA.

Dessert at Artsy cafe.

While walking back to Pantranco, the rain poured hard so we had to take shelter somewhere. We were nearby Mandarin Sky and Artsy Cafe at Panay Ave., so we decided to have dessert and coffee at Artsy Cafe before going home. These two restaurants are linked together via the Function room. Ivy was happy with the interiors of both restaurants, haha.

My coffee.

Cutie cat. But how do you pour with this thing?!

Ivy went home after this. For Hannah and I though, we were supposed to just buy milktea from Macao and go home. But we lost track of time and chitchatted the whole night HAHA. Overall, it was a fun day with my best friends. We even took a photo with Ruth (by using a cellphone). ♥

Let’s Eat Kanin

Another long overdue post! A few months ago, the owners of Huggle Hub Food and Drinks contacted me again to consult with an interior renovation of their restaurant. They did a re-branding of their restaurant and I happily obliged.

The final design.

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The existing space looked like a dental clinic due to the pure white interiors. It was supposed to have varnished wood accents, but the contractor just painted those over SIGH. Since my proposed interior design was only less than 50% accurate, this was the chance to remedy the interior design of the restaurant. However, they had a limited budget for the renovation. I proposed a bunch of options for them to choose from.

Different wood accents and a reuse of the grass tiles.

Adding grass tiles on the ceiling and wood accents for the wall.

One of the ceiling design concepts.

Proposing a new concept doesn’t need to be expensive. A re-paint or additional accents would do the trick to make the interior design pop. This time also, I asked a reliable contractor (from Manila) to do the renovation for this project.

During the occasional Zambales visits, I also got a chance to take promotional food photos for them. ♥ This is also my role in our food blog.

Taco fries. ♥

Shawarma rice. One of their best sellers.

For their Unlimited chicken wings promo.

So, how does their restaurant look like now? BETTER! ♥

My camera phone couldn’t do justice to the way it looks now huhu. It looks SO GOOD.

Repainted the pendant lights. The L.E.K. lights were bought by the client.

Let’s Eat Kanin – Iba, Zambales.

% Arabica

Last month, Rico’s Lechon finally opened a branch in Manila. We’ve tasted the original Rico’s Lechon in Cebu way back in 2013 (when I wasn’t blogging yet and the food blog was on hiatus at the time). So when we heard the news, we immediately scheduled a trip to BGC.

But before going to the said restaurant, I asked that we stop by first at a coffee shop that’s recommended by people I follow on IG lol. We attempted to try this cafe the last time we went to BGC, but we learned that they close WAYYYY TOO EARLY on weekends.

I present to you, % Arabica!


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This Japanese coffee shop specializes in Arabica beans. They offer their drinks with either a Blend (two different varieties of arabica beans) or a Single Origin which comes from one source. You can learn more about them on their website.

You can buy your own beans here!

We ordered a tall Single origin Spanish Latte (190php) and an Americano (150php). I asked what’s the difference with a Spanish latte with a normal one and the barista said a spanish latte is sweeter.  How’s the taste for us coffee lovers? Hmmm. The interiors look nice though!

The Japanese Minimalism aesthetic. ♥

Wood. White. Soft lighting. ♥

The second floor offers benches only and an exhibit of their beans from around the world.

Will we come back? Unfortunately, no.

Just Add Water 3 / Agueda

After a long hiatus, one of my favorite events was held again last month! This is Just Add Water 3 at SM Aura. It was organized by the members of WatercoloristsPH.

I usually attend this event with Hannah and the rest of the January Makers PH girls. But due to their work schedule, they couldn’t make it this time. Thankfully, Aira and Inggo accompanied me! ♥

Daniel Smith paint swatch from Craft Carrot ♥

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I allowed myself to splurge on watercolor materials for this event. Since Craft Carrot was on sale that day, I finally bought a Daniel Smith Sap Green! It was around 450 even with the discount, but I know that this will last me for a long time. ♥ I tried to find a brush holder from the other sellers, unfortunately they don’t have it huhu.

One of the reasons that we went here is because of Agueda. I ordered a custom 4″x4″ cookie and some Paint-your-Own cookie set from her to give as gifts. Of course, I painted my own set right away.

The first attempts at a peony.

Done!

I didn’t use my cookie “palette” and requested if I could use her paints. Thanks, Dandi!

A close up view. ♥

I won !

Painting my round set. ♥

Hydrangeaaaaaas. ♥ Loved how this one turned out!

Aira’s creations + mine. ♥

Behind the scenes photoshoot.

Dandi offered that we have our creations “dusted” so it would dry quickly. Back in the first Agueda PYO cookie, we had to let it dry for a while before we could pack it.

Still so pretty. ♥

Even though we stayed there for just a few hours, we still had fun. ♥ Thank you Agueda for accommodating my orders! Until next time.

Huggle Hub Food & Drinks

A blog post that is long overdue is about my interior design freelance project last year. My classmates from High school contacted me late July 2017 to do an interior design proposal for their restaurant project in Zambales.

The first proposal

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As with any interior design project, this didn’t go as smoothly as I wanted. A lot of problems were found on site and with the travel time of 4-5 hours, it was difficult to monitor the construction progress.

The expected final outcome.

Nevertheless, we did the best of the situation The restaurant had their soft opening on September 2017 and grand opening around November 2017. Their food is about comfort/happy food. And not being biased here, their food is delicious!

HS classmates effort.

I was also requested to do the mural outside of the resto. They asked our classmate Kat (leftykatletters on Instagram) to do the lettering. She was also my seatmate back in 4th year! This was actually our first time to do a mural. For first timers, I think we did great! ♥

Left: My attempt at lettering HAHAHA. | Right: Kat’s amazing first time brush lettering.

Please follow Huggle Hub Food & Drinks on Facebook & Instagram !

Huggle – Valentine day decor

One of my pending blog posts! This is wayyyyy overdue. I was requested to design the Valentine’s Day decor for my restaurant interior design project that I haven’t blogged about yet – Huggle Hub Food & Drinks. This was a labor of love – as everything was DIY!

Hello. ♥

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As to why I haven’t blogged about this restaurant project yet – I’ll tell you soon HAHAHA. The clients asked me to do the visual merchandising for their restaurant & milk tea franchise with a budget of 1k pesos. I suggested that we DIY it all way to save on costs. It took a day to make 2 medium-sized roses. I made 6 pieces! I even asked help from my mom to do the leaves & pompoms.

A mock-up at home. HAHA.

This was also the time that my high school best friend came back to the Philippines to visit. Since all of us were classmates wayyy back, we brought him to Zambales too to relax.

SO PRETTY. ♥

Took this photo during the evening.

I think we stayed there for about 3-4 days. When we were installing the flowers at the restaurant side, we estimated that I didn’t made enough for the milk tea side. So we bought more cartolina (and a glue gun). The client wanted a bigger rose, so a bigger rose it is! I used up 4 cartolina for the giant rose on the right.

They left me all alone making this rose while they were talking business. HAHA.

Installed. ♥

Milk tea side. ♥

Making the roses was super challenging! I didn’t have any experience with making paper roses that time. But I took the challenge and watched youtube videos HAHAHA. I loved the results! I want to do this again in the future. But next time, I hope I can do it faster!

Coffee Project revisit

A few weeks ago, I revisited a cafe that I used to go to when I was still working near the area. I was surprised that they’ve expanded their interiors! And it’s still so pretty huhuhu. This is Coffee Project at Wil Tower.

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They are known for their garden-inspired interiors. With faux flowers everywhere, wood furniture, bicycles, and metal accents. I’ve said before that this is a good place for an art tambay, and I still agree with that statement! The weird thing is that I haven’t done that YET with my friends, why?! Just look at the photos:

Their tables. ♥

Full of garden-style decor!

Decor beside me. ♥

Hi Zinah. ♥ HAHAHA.

I had a funny story that day. While I was talking those interior shots, there were 2 ladies who kept looking at me. Thinking that maybe they thought I was a weirdo for taking pictures, I paid them no heed. After a while, the girl in blue (pictured above) approached me and asked:

“Hi ikaw ba si Paulina?”

It was my batch mate from college. HAHA. So I moved my things to her table to catch up on each other’s lives. Apparently she was one of the designers for Coffee Project!

Those are my stuff. Sorry for the mess HAHA.

And after 2 months, I finally bought my own hue&ai #NoPaintNoGain watercolor pad! My friends recommended this pad to me thinking that it would suit my painting style. I got this at Common Room Katipunan for 170php.

Pretty decor! ♥

Of course I tested mine when I got home. I always turn to sunflowers or peonies when testing paper. The reason for this is that I’m so used to painting sunflowers that it became my painting style: a mixture of wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry. For the peonies, I could test my very wet-on-wet painting style so I could see the bloom effects.  I’m liking it so far!

My paints of course are seamountainco. ♥

Messy peony bloom. ♥

Now the reason that I revisited this place is because I asked Hannah to meet up with me here. I met up with Dandi of Agueda Manila at Gateway because I ordered two boxes of her brigadeiros – one for me & one for a client. I got the mini box of 15pcs briggies in custom flavors (matcha, barako, and cacao) for me, while the other box contains their best sellers. I offered Hannah and Zinah to taste my personal box haha. They loved the matcha one!

Whenever there’s a Just Add Water event, we always buy from her lol. (JAW2 / JAWInk).

What’s left of my box LOL.

We went home a few hours later after talking all night. We really should plan an art tambay for this place. Anyone up for that?!

SGD Coffee Appreciation Workshop

Last Sunday, Inggo and I went to SGD Coffee again. They offered a free coffee appreciation workshop because it was their first anniversary. ♥ It was on a first come, first serve basis. We were lucky that we got a slot for their 4-5pm class.

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The coffee lab.

What I picked. Sadly this wasn’t chosen as one of the three coffee that we tasted that day.

Coffee bean grinding!

Smells good already. ♥

Cafe Lipa. Bacofo. Verve.

To appreciate coffee, we first smelled the freshly ground beans & described our first thoughts about it. It was funny because I had similar views with an older classmate while Inggo had similarities with the millennials.

After that, we smelled & tasted the coffee with hot water at different intervals. It was interesting! Some first impressions during the smell test were intensified with hot water, while some disappeared completely. But it still depends on the person.

French press. ♥

After that, we tried the french press method for all types. We also got to smell & taste a fourth coffee – which is their SGD coffee blend. ♥ Our group is not biased in any way, but we all loved the SGD Coffee HAHA. We also got to try their lemon bar and buttercream bar to pair with their coffee. I liked that it enhanced or complements their coffee instead of overpowering it.

Overall, we learned a lot during the workshop. We also got to experience grinding, weighing, and using the french press for our selected coffee. I also realized during the workshop that I like dark, bitter, chocolate-y tastes compared to light, sour, acidic/”sinigang mix” types. But I also like sagada coffee because of its woody, balanced, familiar taste HAHA.

Congratulations to SGD Coffee on their first anniversary! Here’s to many more to come. ♥

SGD Coffee + Commission

A few weeks ago, my friend commissioned me to make her a watercolor family portrait painting as a gift to her husband. I gladly accepted since she was a close friend way back in elementary. I wanted to paint outside of the house, so I asked Inggo to accompany me to Maginhawa.

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We had lunch at Friuli Trattoria because we were thinking of having coffee at Negative Space Coffee after. Unfortunately, the cafe has closed operation. I was distraught because this was my favorite coffee shop in Maginhawa! I didn’t even had a chance to blog about it properly huhu.

So we decided to look for another cafe around Maginhawa. Then I remembered Tricia Gosingtian’s blog post about her adventure around this area where she recommended a coffee shop called SGD Coffee. Thanks to the internet and google maps, we easily found our way there HAHA.

Coffee round 1!

We ordered the SGD Black (120 php) and SGD Cold (175 php) for our drinks. Inggo also wanted a snack so I ordered a Lemon Bar (65php) for him. The place was packed full but we found a corner space on the second floor.

We were amused with the plating for the lemon bar. (ehem, /r/WeWantPlates). We’re not coffee connoisseurs, but sagada beans is our favorite Philippine variety because this one has a smooth, non-metallic, and not burnt taste. But it will still depend on the coffee shop. The drinks here were good! It has the same taste with other shops with sagada beans, but this one is much smoother.

Progress.

My table setup: watercolor pouch, power bank, and my seamountainco set. ♥

I also liked the interiors of the store. It was an old house converted into a coffee shop and learning center. I loved that it had large windows bringing in natural light inside. Perfect for me since I needed it for painting.

Another view of my table setup: Seamountainco set, portable mixing palette, and my w&n cotman set.

I also decided to paint another portrait of my friend because of our conversation. She mentioned that I made her a portrait when we were in Grade 6. Sadly, she lost the portrait due to constant moving. So I made a new one for her. ♥

We shared this plate. ♥

While doing the second painting, Inggo ordered food and drinks. He ordered the Longganisa (220php), Cappuccino (145php) for him, and Flat White (145php) for me. The food was really good and filling! I liked the runny egg yolks mixed with the etag and black rice. The veggies were also delicious. I think these are all Sagada products.

Coffee round 2!

His cappuccino had cinnamon powder on top instead of the usual chocolate powder. He said his drink was good. I don’t usually drink flat white, but this was also good. You could still taste the smooth sagada brew in it. The only pet peeve I think is that they serve hot drinks on glass cups. But that’s just my preference.

Finished! ♥

Overall, we had a good time here in SGD Coffee. It’s the perfect place for art tambays with the natural light. The food and drinks were good, although a bit expensive for the student crowd. They also teach everything about coffee, so do check out their Facebook page and website for more details.

Is this my new favorite coffee shop in Maginhawa? I’m still not sure.

Further reading:

SGD Coffee wants to make Sagada coffee among the best in the world.

Coffee from Sagada is challenging the way we think about local beans.

Tim Hortons

It’s planner season once again in the Philippines. I’ve already started my CBTL stamp collecting, but I’ve been craving the coffee of a new player in Metro Manila: Tim Hortons! The Canada-based fast food restaurant is finally here! The first time I tried it was at Eastwood with Inggo.

Interiors. They’re beside Ippudo at Eastwood.

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We ordered the Large Hot Mocha (130php) & French Vanilla (125php). The hot mocha is what you would expect it to taste. But the French Vanilla… oh my! It was heaven at first sip. ♥ Too bad that it was Inggo’s drink huhu. Price is competitive also, they’re wayyy cheaper than their competition. The only thing for a coffee connoisseur is that their coffee is not that strong. It’s too creamy for the experienced. But we don’t mind. ♥

He also ordered a Croissant with Cream Cheese. (75php).

I ordered an Apple Fritter. (Forgot the price, sorry! But it was also not bad for the price.)

And for every receipt, there’s a promo code where you have to answer their survey form. Once filled up, they’ll give you a code for a free donut when you buy a drink. ♥ I’ve already used 3-4 receipts HAHA.

Another thing is their iced drinks are different from their hot drinks. I always order the iced coffee (95php) with an add-on of vanilla shot (20php). For a large drink of 115php, I’m already happy with my creamy drink. Ughh! I’m craving for it now.

Once the planner season ends, and once they expand to the northern side of Metro Manila. I think I’ll become a regular at this place HAHA. ♥