Fruit VS. Food: Arroyo Chop House

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After doing some heavy negotiating with a tough lawyer a.k.a. Dad (told him I made reservations and if I canceled last minute, they would charge a fat cancellation fee. Ha! Hey, my parents used to tell us white lies all the time), I was finally able to drag my parents with me to Pasadena and try out Arroyo Chop House. My Dad's been having an increased appetite for red meat so I wanted to take the folks out to a place that's known for it.

Arroyo Chop House

When you get there, the sign is on the side where it faces the road. If you don't spot the sign, you'll know you're at the right place when you see this vine-covered building. 

There is only valet parking available but guess what? It's complimentary, so just tip the valet dude after you dine. The cars are parked within the vicinity so there's not a long wait when they retrieve it for you.

We got there a little after 6 p.m. so the place wasn't packed yet. We sat at the waiting area for about 10 minutes then the hostess led us to our table. I thought we were going to be seated at the main area where the bar was at but they directed us to a connecting room where it was much more quiet.

Oh how I love the dimly lit ambiance, with dark wood shutters and all. I also love how they space out the tables well, unlike other hip places that charge you so much money but you'd probably end up sitting on someone by accident because your table is THAT close to each other. Those kinda places are definitely taking "rubbing elbows" to another level.

Fret not, they do place lights strategically towards every table so you're not eating your food blindly.

And now to the fun stuff! We started off with some Chop House Garlic Bread. My Dad is a sucker for garlic bread so he pretty much murdered the bread basket.

Barbecued Shrimp Salad. This was not a frou-frou kind of salad and surprisingly, I really loved it! They serve the shrimp warm and the dressing had the right amount of spiciness.

My Mom and I ordered the Rotisserie Chicken.

and Dad got the Pork Chop. He said it's one of the best he's ever tasted.

For the sides, we got the Mac & Cheese, Black Forest Ham. Merlin's beard, you must order this when you visit!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Lobster Mashed Potatoes. I would skip the lobster one and keep the garlic.

When ordering, keep in mind that the servings are generous. Mom and I ordered two chickens 'coz we thought it was gonna be like those little swanky places with little swanky servings---you know, the ones where you take five little bites and dinner is over, and the check is worth a hundred In-N-Out burgers (and a couple of animal-style fries) --- but this was not that kind of place. In fact, the chicken that we ordered was a HALF CHICKEN each. So I literally didn't touch my chicken and just took it to go, like the rest of the side dishes that we couldn't even put a dent on.

For dessert, we ordered the Grand Marnier Souffle. This takes around 45 minutes to make so if you're going to want to try any of the souffles, make sure to put that order in at the same time with the appetizers and such.

Uhm, yea I was too excited that I didn't get to take a picture before our waiter distributed the souffle among the three of us. But still, YUM. And yes, the souffle was huge.

Thank God for old parents, because they hate super sweet stuff, which means I get to finish off all of this goodness right here. OOPS! Did I just say that out loud?

Nah...if they read this blog, they wouldn't be too old to whoop my hiney for calling them "old". Attractive parents, right? They got that from me. Ha!

In all seriousness though, why is it that we only realize as we get older, how much quality time we need to spend with our parents ? Back in high school and in college, I always wanted to hang out with my friends and go some place where my parents won't "bug" me. Maybe it all lies on the level of experience and maturity as one gets older. I am slowly realizing all the sacrifices that my parents had to make for my own welfare, and how they were right all along for disagreeing with me and the premature decisions that I've made in the past...meh, who am I kidding--- STUPID decisions.

I only hope to have the luxury of time, so I could make more meaningful memories with my parents, and to be able to repay them in kind by taking care of them as they have always taken good care of me.

Remember that as we are busy getting married, having babies, falling in love, climbing the corporate ladder, Photoshopping selfie pictures... our parents are getting old too. Don't just say you love them, SHOW THEM just how much.


Perks Alert: Sephora

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Being a horrible daughter that I am, I wasn't able to get anything for my mom during Mother's Day. So today, I told her I would bring her to Sephora and let her get whatever she wants so  I don't have to feel guilty anymore I can finally make the Mumsies happy. 

I wasn't really planning to buy anything for myself but I forgot that I actually need some stuff too :

This is the thickening spray that I use from Bumble and bumble. I only use this product when I cut my hair short since my hair is too straight and I need something that would give my hair some volume. What I love about this spray is that it's not sticky nor heavy, so it doesn't feel like you've actually put something on your hair.

I needed a replacement for my everyday lipstick and usually I get the subtle pink or coral tones from Dior Addict but this time, I wanted to try the Dior Addict Fluid Stick. The product itself isn't new since YSL came out first with it around last year called Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain . It's like a hybrid product of a lip tint, a lipstick and a lip gloss. When you first put it on, the consistency feels like a lip stain but then somehow the product thickens and starts to feel like a lipstick and it has the right amount of gloss.

Brilliant packaging. They shaped the container to look like it's a lipstick but that's actually the gloss.

I think it's got a good amount of pigment and the color is buildable if you want it darker.

Anyhoo, this is a Perks Alert post so let's talk about what Sephora had for me today. If you're not familiar yet with Sephora's rewards card program, here's a little breakdown for ya: It's a free program and there are three statuses you can achieve. You can avail of the Beauty Insider status with no purchase necessary (just go to a store near you and get your Beauty Insider card), then if you've spent $350 in a calendar year, they upgrade you to VIB status (Very Important Beauty Insider) and if you've spent $1000 in a calendar year, they upgrade you to VIB Rouge status, which has a great perk of free shipping on any purchase, anytime. To get more details on the perks, click here.

You get one point for every dollar that you spend and they usually have a 100-point or 500-point reward that you can redeem your points with. I had over 1,200 points and to be honest, it's sometimes hard for me to redeem any them 'coz the selection of the rewards kinda suck. I mean, if I'm gonna spend 500 points = $500, then it better be worth it.

But ooh la la, what do we have here? A Balenciaga silk scarf with a mini Rosabotanica Eau de Parfum for 500 points...Score! :)

I'm beginning to think that I am sorta kinda obsessed with freebies---well, semi-freebie since you do have to spend 500 bucks (for 500 points) just to redeem this gift. Tee-hee.


Fruit Fashion Files: Men's Fall 2014

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It was so darn hot today that all I wanted to do after work was sleep through the heat 'til it finally cools down at night. Times like these, I miss the cold season even more. Fall/ Winter are the best seasons to dress up, with all the beautiful colors and layers and textures that you can work with. I was really bored today and I knew that the only thing to cheer me up was to talk about men's fashion. Yes, I love men's fashion...maybe even more than women's--- I guess it's a force of habit since I've worked with it for 8 years.

I am very pleased to report to you that as the double-breasted suit has been creeping around us for 3 years or so, and it is now back in full force but with a more modern twist to it--- it's got narrower lapels and a more tapered body. The usual fall colors are seen like maroon, dark grey, plum and so on but teal seems to be the go-to color for some of my favorite designers. 

Here are my top picks for Men's Fall Collection 2014:


Alexander Wang just gained himself a new fan. I just love the clean lines yet he throws in modern details such as the zipper added on a suit jacket or a two-toned peak lapel coat.

Costume National

Here comes the teal! The color is just amazing on this coat!

This leather trimmed suit spells sophistication but with a lot of edge.


Leave it to Canali to deliver style with the most luxurious fabrics. The herringbone jacket looks heavenly and I want those dark maple dress shoes for the boyfriend.


I love how casual chic this collection is, with a great play-up of neutral colors such as taupe, mocha and cool blue.

All photos via

Most of you men and your family jewels will be rejoicing as you can see that the trendy ultra-skinny leg pants are now overshadowed by a more comfortable tapered cut. You know what this more stealing of your girlfriend's skinny jeans, you klepto!

What say you, boys? Let's go buy you some new duds!


Sale Alert: Zara

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Hey troopies! Guess what I got in my inbox today!

ZARA Summer Sale starts ONLINE tonight at midnight Eastern Standard, which means it'll be 10 pm for Pacific Standard Time. Yey! I'm not sure if they go on sale at the same time in stores as well so it's wise to check and call your nearest Zara store before heading down there.

Happy bargain shopping, my minions!


Father's Day : San Juan Capistrano

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Today, I am happy because I got to spend another Father's Day with my main man, my Papi. It was a nice day out so we decided to take my Papi somewhere he hasn't been to yet (almost an impossible feat to accomplish, if you ask me!). We wanted to beat the rush of the Sunday brunch so we moved our celebration to Saturday instead.

My brother's friend suggested that we go to San Juan Capistrano and coincidentally, I have always wanted to go see the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano, a Spanish mission that was led by Father Junipero Serra to spread Christianity to the native inhabitants of California. In fact, right when you get there, you will undoubtedly notice the colonial Spanish architecture that the little town exudes.

The town center is actually pretty small so you can park just about anywhere and walk around to browse through cute little local shops as well as restaurants that offer great al fresco dining. We were pretty lucky to get a parking space right across the Mission, which also happened to be a couple of steps away from the restaurant that we were going to dine at.

Cedar Creek Inn

Al fresco dining.

Being the Asians that we are and to avoid premature ageing, we opted to be seated inside despite having an inviting weather that would have been perfect for dining al fresco. I'm glad we chose to do so because the interior of the restaurant was cozy, yet it had large windows that allowed a good amount of natural light to shine through.

I love the rustic details.

On to the food! Apparently I was the only one who was hungry (my family ate before they picked me up while I, on the other hand, was deliberately starving myself so I could feast when we got to the resto), so my family and I ended up just sharing whatever I ordered. 

Sesame Calamari. This was actually very tasty. The sesame definitely gave this appetizer a boost on the taste category and the japapeño tartar sauce was awesome.

Beer Battered Green Beans. This tasted alright, but I think it would have been better if the dipping sauce they used was the same japaleño tartar sauce that came with the Sesame Calamari.

Cedar Planked Salmon. I was totally disappointed with this dish. I ordered this because I was expecting a salmon to do some major planking. Hardy-har-har. I know, I can be a cornball at times. But seriously, this dish was YUM-O! The salmon didn't have that fishy taste and the maple-soy glaze wasn't too salty.

Marcy's Divine Salad. This salad tasted kind of like a Mexican-inspired salad to me. It had cilantro, corn, tortilla strips, apples, bleu cheese, bbq chicken and some other stuff I forgot.

My dad said he wanted Fish and Chips because he missed eating the "chips". I said, do you mean you just want to eat fries without sounding like you're ordering something so unhealthy at this hour? He just kept offering his fish to my brother so he could devour all his "chips". As if calling it chips makes it a whole lot different than eating fries. My dad just tried to lawyer his way out of it --- it's Father's Day so you get a free pass, Papi-san.

Your honor, I present Exhibit A. The case of the missing fries. 

This mischievous looking fella right here is my Papi. Love you, Dad!

Right after we had our late lunch, we headed straight to the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano to attend the anticipation mass.

There was a solo violinist playing beautifully as we were making our way to the front of the basilica to find some seats.

After mass, we wanted to go inside the Mission to explore the ruins but we needed to do some errands before heading home so I was happy to see at least part of it peeking over the wall as we were parked right across the entrance.

It's a funny coinky dink 'coz I wore a crochet dress and I felt kinda like La Isla Bonita while being surrounded by colonial Spanish architecture.

Dress by: I totally forgot who (random bargain brand)--- sorry too lazy to walk to the closet and check; Belt by:  H&M ; Espadrille wedges by: Steve Madden.

And no. This is not in San Juan Capistrano, it's inside South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. I was so embarrassed as hell to take a picture but I had to do it because I forgot to have one taken after hearing mass at the basilica. So yeah, I sacrificed to look like a tourist in a local mall just for you guys.

Tropical the island breeze,
All of nature wild and free,
This is where I long to be,
La Isla Bonita

Look away as I attempt to do the cha-cha.


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