Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine sweets perfect for any sweet tooth

I've always been a sucker for sweets, and when I had the privilege of tasting PhoebeCakes' Valentine line, I was just delighted!

And yes, the name PhoebeCakes was inspired by Phoebe Cates, the Hollywood actress, to anyone who remembers. The baker, Phoebe Estrevillo, had a passion for baking since high school and successfully sold her pastries at that age. Now a full-fledged pastry chef, she launched PhoebeCakes last November. And just this week she launched her Valentine line.

My favorite, which wins hands-down, is the XOXO brownies. Just the right softness, gooiness, flakiness and most importantly - chocolatey-ness! Quite addicting, in my opinion - and my family seemed to agree, as they devoured everything almost immediately. Not surprisingly, these brownies are one of Phoebe's all-time bestsellers which she decorated for this Valentine's.

My second favorite is the Honey O'Mine cupcakes.Kind of reminds me of Sonja's Cupcakes for their yumminess, though Honey O'Mine has a distinct sweetness and flavor all its own. I personally prefer the red velvet cupcakes as they are richer in chocolate though less sweet than the pink velvet one made of white chocolate.

I also love Cupid and Sweet Tooth. Cupid's candy filling blends so well with its subtly sweet cookie. And Sweet Tooth is aptly called Sweet Tooth - these are the classic yummy sugar cookies. The child in me was happy to eat both an X and O. =)

The rest of the Valentine pastries, My Happy Valentine and the stuffed Red Velvet cookies are also awesome, though those I mentioned above are my favorite.

To read more about PhoebeCakes' Valentine line, go to ClickTheCity's article or to their Facebook page. To order, go to their website or contact Phoebe Estrevillo at 0922-8743424. The Valentine line is available February 12-21. TIP: Order three days ahead.

Photos by Carmina Beatrix Reyes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Rainbow, A Wake, and A Cat

The sky was gray most of the day today with sporadic rains. But happily, as the day approached nighttime, the sky cleared and made commuting easier for me. As I was walking on the footbridge in one of the busy streets of our city, though, I was struck by a vivid rainbow that appears to spring from a dark asphalt road that has only seen traffic and smoke for years. The rays of the setting sun bathed the facade of buildings in bright and vibrant yellow, almost making them glow.

Although I was in a hurry, I stopped, overpowered by awe and amazement. How nature can stage such a spectacular display in a city of glass and concrete is simply incredible.

Thankfully, I arrived just in time to meet my friends from the Inner Peace community to go to the wake of our friend Chris’ mom, who passed on so suddenly. I could feel the solemnity and grief in the wake, but the prayer-meditation conducted by Regina, the head of Inner Peace, helped shift the collective energy to relief and hope. I am again reminded that there really is no death, merely transition. There are things which cannot be destroyed. And, while the human body is already a masterpiece, the soul is infinitely more beautiful.

After leaving the wake, some of us hung out at a park in Makati and found ourselves in an animated discussion about teachings from spiritual teachers and our personal experiences. While we were talking, I noticed an orange cat – bigger than a kitten, but not quite a fully-grown cat – approaching us. He walked around a bit, sat less than a meter beside us, then much later curled up into a ball and fell asleep. The little furball looked just so peaceful, not to mention cute! I quipped to my companions that the cat must have been drawn to our positive energy – actually, I believe he was. =)

Today was definitely a “happening” day, though in a subtle way which I could have easily missed had I not paid attention. For the simple yet awesome and revealing moments today I am thankful.

The rainbow, though taken from my camera phone its appearance pales greatly in comparison to the real thing, which I felt I could almost touch

The cute cat which kept us company at the park

Monday, January 4, 2010

I’ve got a feeling…

Right before the New Year, I got this from my subscription of Notes from the Universe by author and speaker Mike Dooley.

I've got a feeling, Claire, that 2010 is going to be your kind of year. That you'll be happier than you've ever been, laughing harder, smiling wider, standing taller, walking lighter, dancing crazier, hugging longer, living grander, loving louder, and if you want, selling the pictures to a tabloid to raise money for your new charity.

Can you feel it, too?
The Universe

I feel it – yes, I feel that 2010 is going to be an extraordinary year, for me and for every one who chooses it to be.

Early in 2009 I declared it was going to be a breakthrough year for me – and it was, in many ways I did not even expect. 2009 was arguably the best year of my life so far. And I believe, 2010 will even be better.

I choose it to be better.

And my wish for every one is that this 2010 be the best year of their lives. And that each new year will always be better than the last. Cheers!