Sunday, September 30, 2012

Driving me crazy

In the realm of candy land, I must say that Skittles is at the top of the candy chain. It's one candy brand that I can't get enough of, and I'm thankful that they have enough variants keep me hooked on it.

Hands down, my favorite has to be the Wild Berry variant, followed by the original, then the tropical. The Skittles Sours are good, too, but you can't eat too many lest you end up with a bruised tongue.

While in Makati, I noticed this box of Skittles in a variant that I haven't seen before.

They're Skittles with two flavors - a different flavor for the coating and the center. I bought a pack to try it out, and yes, it's Skittles heaven! Each flavor is unique and the mix of flavors really takes it up a few notches higher.

Needless to say, my favorite in the bunch is the Cherry Lemonade Skittle. It's. The. Best. Ever.

Looks like I've found another Skittle variant that I'll go crazy for. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Double Happiness

People who really know me know the fact that I'm a gift wrapping freak. Heck, you can even say I'm mildly obsessed about wrapping gifts.

And if you're mildly obsessed about wrapping gifts, your best friend has to be double sided tape. It lets you wrap gifts without the unsightly bits of transparent tape jutting out. That definitely wrecks the look and theme of the wrapping.

That's why I was doubly happy when I saw double sided tape on sale at St. Francis Square!

These babies are just P10 a roll! Imagine that! I've tried using the tape already, and there's nothing wrong with it. But it's obviously old stock because of the discoloration of the sides of the tape.

But hey, as long as they can stick the wrappers together, I'm a happy camper.

And at this price, it's definitely double happiness.

Friday, September 28, 2012

FMM: Ice see you

The other day, my colleague and I were laughing at another officemate who was dressed up looking like an ice skater. She was wearing a black, body hugging ensemble, complete with sparkly crystals all over the place.

We were just waiting for her to do a pirouette and a triple axle. Which she didn't do, of course.

Our ice skating conversation later moved to "Ice Castles," which led me to remember the theme song of the film:

It's a Friday, so I don't think I'll be skating on thin ice by playing this song today.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


As it often happens, whenever I'm craving for something, they magically disappear.

I've been craving for taho the past few days. And the problem is, well-mannered taho vendor is nowhere to be found. He's not in his usual spot, nor is he in his alternate spot.

How's that for a great escape.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Borrowing from the Boys

Ever since Katherine Hepburn and Diane Keaton made appearances wearing loose and baggy men's clothing, the concept of "borrowed from the boys" fashion became universally accepted. Soon enough, more and more women found themselves wearing apparel and accessories meant for guys.

That's why there has been a proliferation of "boyfriend" clothing. There's the boyfriend shirt, boyfriend jeans, boyfriend shorts, heck, there's even a boyfriend perfume. Likewise, women are wearing oxfords and brogues, and carrying satchels - items usually seen on Preppy Prep School boys.

Ate Bullet is a big "boyfriend" fan. In fact, she borrows things from me. One time, she ended up wearing my jeans, and she also wears my watch with the faux crocodile strap.

That's why when I saw some mannish items, I immediately thought of her and whipped up this look:

It started with this nice denim shirt that I saw in SM Department Store. It's made of light denim but with a dark wash. The fit is loose and comfortable, which is perfect for our unpredictable weather. 

Surplus Shop has these men's style khaki trousers, but cut very low to fit a woman. Ate has been in a khaki state of mind, and she's wearing out the khaki Forever 21 trousers I bought her before. She'll need another pair of trousers to go on rotation, and this fits the bill perfectly. And yes, they're cuffed, too.

The final touch? These cool "lolo shoes" from Primadonna. They're 50% brogues, 50% golf shoes and 100% cool! This is the perfect way to punctuate this "masculine" look.

Overall, this look is actually very, very tomboy chic. If Ate still had her long, wavy hair, she can go all Alexandra Chung on you.

As a testament to how masculine this combination is, I usually wear a denim shirt and khaki trousers to school. But no, I'm not into brogues and don't wear shoes of this style. Give me my Chuck Taylors and Jack Purcells anytime.

And I think it's the pair of shoes that separates the boys from the "boyfriend" girls.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ooh, York!

When I came home tonight, I found this in the fridge!

I'm such a huge fan of York Peppermint Pattie. Actually, I'm a huge fan of peppermint patties in general. I like how the minty taste creates a counterpoint to the rich taste of chocolate. It's minty, cool and creamy at the same time. And you can't go wrong with a combination like that.

I also like Andes, but because they're small and thin, the flavors aren't that pronounced. But with York, everything is magnified. And that's just the way I like it. 

Monday, September 24, 2012


Despite my lack of knowledge and practice in bowling, it turns out I got a pretty decent score during our company's tournament.

Out of 82 players, I was ranked 15th. And in the men's division, I ended up being 11th.

Maybe I should start practicing and playing more.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

LFLTAT: Relaxed Sunday

On weekends, it's great to just dress down and wear something that will let you move freely. After all, 5 days of wearing work clothes that are constricting, it's great to just cut loose and relax.

And here's a chic way to relax. Courtesy of pieces from The Landmark and Surplus Shop.

The top is in heather gray, and has a nice silhouette - boxy, loose, but still flattering on the body. The shoulders are dropped and it creates a nice shape on the body.

Fashion rules dictate that when you wear something loose up top, you have to go for something form fitting at the bottom. But hey, rules don't apply during weekends. So, I paired this top with loose, boyfriend style trousers. 

The color is a bit on the reddish side, which plays nicely on the gray top. And yes, you can never go wrong with cuffed trousers, so I'm cuffing this one up as well.

Since these pieces came from my favorite haunts for cheap and cheerful clothing, the total cost for this look is just P780.00. 

Not only do you get to relax, your wallet can do the same as well.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Failing in College

I've always been a Top Model fan. I think I've watched every cycle from 6 to 17. When I worked for the CW, I even got to watch them in advance, which was way, way cool.

Heck, I even have favorite contestants per season. There was Melrose from Cycle 7, Marjorie and Joslyn from Cycle 11, Rae from Cycle 13, Raina and Angelea from Cycle, Esther, Jane and Liz from Cycle 15, and Alexandra from Cycle 16.

While ANTM British Invasion was such as bore, I was willing to give ANTM College Edition a chance. 

But that chance ended after one episode. I'm sorry Ms. Banks, but this cycle is the most contrived of them all. The judges look like they don't know what they're talking about, and the creative director isn't creative at all. Makes you miss Jay, Ms. Jay and Nigel even more.

So, if I were to give this cycle a grade, it'll definitely fail.

Friday, September 21, 2012

FMM: Interacting music

Way back then when proms weren't really sanctioned by our schools, we had "interactions."

What would happen was there'd be two schools chosen to interact with each other. We'd be sitting in a row of chairs across and positioned parallel to each other, and we'd basically just fill the room with awkward silence.

Then, they'd play music and you're encouraged to dance. Just make sure there's a distance of one feet in between you two when the dancing commences. How fun was that? Hahaha.

For some strange reason, Wang Chung's "Let's go" reminds me of those interactions we had in high school. And after hearing this song, it was like interacting all over again.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Play bowl!

Despite being short on players, our team did pretty well in tonight's bowling tournament. And despite my obvious lack of bowling skills, I surprisingly scored more than 100 per game.

Maybe I should start playing bowling some more.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


In the earlier years of fashion, female designers were usually hyphenates. Aside from being designers, they would be something else. 

Madame Gres was a designer/sculptor, Nancy Talbot was a designer/socialite, Amelia Bloomer was a designer/women's rights activist (imagine that!), and Liz Claiborne was a designer/business titan.

Then, there are the designer/models. They usually start out as fashion models, and eventually cross over to the business of design. It's actually a seamless transition since they're surrounded by clothes most of the time.

In the 60s, one of these designer/models was Mary Quant. 

As a model, she was famous for her short hair and gamine look which was the rage in the 60s. She was in the same league as Twiggy - another British model who was known for her almost androgynous aura.

As a designer, she's known for several things. First, there's the mini-skirt which she designed a lot of in the 60s. She also popularized hot pants. And of course, who can forget her Peter Pan collar.

The era of Mary Quant might have passed, but her design influence is still very much around today. In fact, if you go to The Landmark, you'll see a lot of mini skirts, hot pants, and the Peter Pan collar.

This sheer blouse looks like a throwback from the 60s. With its white collar and bright color, it looks like something my Mom would wear when she was in her 20s. (Which, in fact, she was during the 60s.)

Keeping with the bright colored theme, I found a pair of teal trousers with a white belt to complete the look.

The combination is a nod to the 60s but made current for the 10s. And it's a look that I think Mary Quant would like, too.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kaleidoscope world

My fascination with kaleidoscopes go way, way back. As a kid, I'd collect kaleidoscopes, and I'd even go as far as dismantling them in order to see how they work. I was surprised to see that the wonderful patterns that I saw were just bits of colored paper and mirrors. But that never dampened my enthusiasm for these colorful visual toys.

It's a fascination that I carry with me until now. In fact, I named one of my lessons in my AVP class after the kaleidoscope. And I was surprised that not everyone knew what it was.

At the Mind Museum, there's this giant kaleidoscope on the 2nd floor. Needless to say, I gravitated towards that and snapped this photo.

This snapshot automatically brought me back to my colorful childhood.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Vera much a lady

A few weeks ago, I saw this on the Simply Vera by Vera Wang site. It stood out among the lot of dresses on display, mainly because it had a beautiful print, classic construction, and very lady-like length.

A few weeks after, here it is!

The dress definitely doesn't disappoint. (Aye! An alliteration!) It's as nice in person as it is on the website. Everything about it is exquisite, especially the pintucked details near the shoulder. The belt is a nice touch because it whittles the waist nicely.

To up the lady-like ante, a black cardigan over the dress is just what you need. Add a pair of ballet flats and a classic black bag and you've got a modern day Audrey Hepburn.

I'm sure the ladies in the family will really rock this look.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Night at the Museum

The Mind Museum, that is.

It was Mark's birthday weekend and we opted to do something new. We've been to a couple of museums in Japan, but haven't really explored any of the museums here in Manila. (Except maybe that art exhibit/museum in Ateneo.) So, I decided to indulge the geeks in both of us and checked the place out.

Since we were looking for some peace and quiet, I opted to buy the evening tickets instead of the usual daytime ones. My objective was to avoid the noisy kid crowd which would flood the museum in the morning or afternoon. They were the same kids who were making a ruckus at Jollibee that same afternoon. I've never heard so much noise in just one place.

I'm a big fan of museums, so I have a tendency to mentally compare and contrast. Size-wise, The Mind Museum is a bit small. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for activity. There's a lot to see and do in the museum, especially if you're into science. (And science was one of my favorite subjects in Grade School and High School.)

You can eat a giant chocolate bar:

You can come up with your own atomic structure:

You can solve problems: (needless to say, Mark's favorite subject was math.)

You can also get chased by a dinosaur! Well, dinosaur bones, if you want to be technical about it.

You can even see dinosaur poop! Oh crap!

You can also watch a 15-minute 3-D movie about how life on earth was created, destroyed, created, destroyed, and created again. Surprisingly, it was a heart wrenching film - especially the part when the dinosaurs died. *sniff*

You can also go whale watching, and see whales up close. Without even diving or going near water. (Yes, that's a whale behind us.)

At those are just the natural science parts. There was a lot more to see in the museum, like how things work and how things are made. But overall, what The Mind Museum taught us - yet again - was the fact that science is a fascinating, yet often forgotten subject. Especially if you're in a non-scientific job, like me.

One thing I also liked about The Mind Museum is they had a lot of clever signs scattered throughout the place. And among the lot, this one is what resonated with me the most:

Yes, kids, please read!

Overall, it was a wonderful night at the museum. And this is just going to be the first museum with many, many more to come.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

You know you're a teacher when...

You receive a text that there are no classes today, and you're actually sad that you won't be able to meet and teach your class today.

Dang! And I was so psyched to teach today since the lessons are ones that I'm very passionate about.

Oh well. There's always next Saturday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

FMM: Just Perfect

Out of the blue, this song came playing on the cab I was riding on the way to the office. It's been a while since I've heard this on air, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear in. And on a Friday at that.

It's been decades since this song first went on air, and it still resonates as much as it did the first time I heard it. The melody is beautiful, and the lyrics are like poetry.

After all these years, this song true to its title.

It's perfect.

(Here's the thing, though. Whenever I hear this song, I remember the old Ligo commercial that goes: "Ligo at kanin... *cue music* perfect combination..." Hahaha.)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mister Manners

On my way to the office, I occasionally buy taho from this vendor in front of the EDSA Shrine.

One thing I noticed about this particular taho vendor is that he's different. First, there's the fact that he's always dressed spiffily. He always wears pants, shoes and a shirt - a far cry from the usual vendors who are decked in shorts, a t-shirt, slippers and a good morning towel on their shoulders.

Second, aside from being well-dressed, he's also well-mannered. He always acknowledges the person buying from him, and always thanks them afterwards. This is a big plus for me because I'm big on gratitude.

And as it turns out, he is, too.

This morning, after buying my usual P20 glass of taho, I did what I usually do. I said "Thank you" after he gave me my taho and change.

Then, he looked up to me and we had this conversation:

HE: "Alam mo, nakakatuwa ka."
ME: "Bakit po?"
HE: "Kasi marunong kang mag-Thank You. Konti na lang ang ganyan ngayon."
ME: "Talaga ho?"
HE: "Oo. Kahit na mag-thank you ka sa kanila, hindi ka nila papansinin. Kaya natutuwa ako sa'yo. Kitang-kita na may manners ka."
ME: "Thank you po."

It's always great whenever you meet someone different, and that taho vendor in front of EDSA Shrine is definitely different.

In more ways than one.

And in a good way.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

And yes we've just begun...

While I was browsing for "gift wrapper candidates" for this Christmas, this song played through the loudspeakers of SM Megamall.

Then I thought, I've bought my first few Christmas gifts last weekend, and I'm buying wrappers tonight.

Yes, Christmas has definitely begun.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Color Story: Shades of Green

Unlike other colors in the color wheel, green doesn't enjoy as much popularity as its other siblings. Whenever you look at fashion magazines, it's commonplace to see clothes in red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo and violet. (Heck, I just mentioned ROYBIV.) But green isn't a constant fixture in fashion.

Yes, it does appear occasionally. Like Keira Knightley's dress in the film "Atonement," or Nicole Kidman's chartreuse Dior for the Oscars. But it isn't as mainstream, and I think it's mainly because they find green a difficult color to carry. (I remember a wedding I organized where the motif was Olive green. The Mom of the bride looks at our swatches and exclaims: "Ano ba 'yan, parang tae ng manok.")

Maybe it's because when people mention green, they think of the deep shades of it. There's crayola green, moss green, army green and emerald green. What they don't realize is there are bright shades of green that are cool on the eyes and refreshing to look at. Just like this ensemble that I found at the Landmark.

The top has a light blue green color that's so easy on the eyes. To keep it from being too overwhelming, they added white details such as the sheer shoulders and knitted collar.

I topped it off with a sea green cardigan with a very loose silhouette. It gives the entire look a very relaxed, lounge feel. And to anchor the look, I chose these dark blue jeans which balance the entire look.

See, green isn't such a bad color. It's just a matter of finding the right shade that works.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Britney's got style! (Gangnam, that is)

Admittedly, I'm a bit belated when it comes to this "Gangnam Style" fever. I only found out from my 4th year students, and eventually, my sister told me that Kevin performs the song, too.

So, I checked out youtube to see what the fuss is all about. Lo and behold, even Britney Spears is getting in style!

This video is addicting. And so is the song-and-dance-routine.

I better stop before it becomes an LSS. And an LDS, too.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

"Let's Lift It."

One thing I gathered from "The September Issue" is that Anna Wintour seems to like using the phrase "Let's Lift It."

There was once scene where a member of the Editorial Team presented something to Anna, and she asked him: "This is Vogue. Where's the Glamour? Where's the drama? Let's Lift It." Judging by that comment, I take it that "Lifting It" means adding that element of high style in everything that they do.

When I saw this white dress from Elle, I thought it was a great looking piece. It was simple, flattering and classic. It can actually be worn on its own, and it would be a chic and stylish piece.

But I thought: "How do we lift it?"

And the answer came in the form of this very ornate, very dramatic but very wearable piece of accessory that I got from one of my haunts at The Fort.

It's a layered necklace that delivers a lot of drama. In fact, it delivers so much drama that it's best set against a blank canvas. Ergo, it goes perfectly with the white dress.

The necklace is made of agate stones, which gives it that rich, brown color. They've added two gem patterns in the middle of the necklace. This serves as the point of interest where the eye can rest.

It's a piece that's both simple and ornate at the same time. And it perfectly accomplishes what it's supposed to do to that white dress.

It Lifts It.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Joy in the Anticipated

For two weeks, Mark and I have been hearing the anticipated mass at Greenbelt Chapel. Since I don't work in Makati anymore, it's rare that I get to visit or hear mass in this chapel. At least not as often as when we both worked in Makati.

There's something nice and different about hearing the 6pm Saturday mass. There's a rhythm and a flow to it that I like, starting with the rosary, followed by the angelus and the actual mass.

The entire process is both joyous and rejuvenating.

Friday, September 07, 2012

FMM: Alessi is more

There's an old song that never fails to relax me.

Whatever I'm doing, and this song starts to play, I automatically sit down, let loose and just relax. It's almost Pavlovian!

Hearing it reminds me of my first Advertising job in Adformatix, and we'd often work overtime on a Thursday night and it would spill over to Friday early morning. Things would often get too busy and frenetic, and this song would suddenly play as part of Friday Magic Madness.

Suddenly, everyone would become more relaxed and the stress in the air would go away.

That was the power of the Alessi brothers. Particularly, their classic song, "Oh, Lori."

They should play their songs more often.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Bowled over

The last time I went bowling was in 2007. In Japan.

That was the homestretch of our IUJ days, and the Filipino gang decided to go to a nearby bowling alley in Urasa and play a few games of bowling. It was all for fun, which made it much more fun.

When the office announced that there would be a bowling tournament, they asked me if I wanted to join. Of course, I said no. But that didn't stop them for including me in the roster of players.

Repeatedly, I told them that I sucked as a bowler. Heck, 5 years is a lifetime in bowler years. But that didn't stop them from including me in the roster of players.

So, it came to pass and I was asked to play on the 2nd game.

And I was the highest scorer for the team.

I think I'll play again next week.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


As the last quarter rolls in, the season of collaborations are coming into full swing. 

This September, there's Kirna Zabete for Target and Nicole Richie for Macy's. In November, there's the much anticipated Maison Martin Margiela for H&M. And in between, there's another H&M collaboration that's literally a gem.

It's the Anna Dello Russo accessories collection.

And true to her quirky and excessive aesthetic, the pieces from her collection are just that.

These snake and coil pieces are the only ones that caught my attention. The others are just too loud for daily or regular use.

Unless you're Anna Dello Russo, of course.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Anticipating the dawn

When the "Twilight" franchise started, I wasn't really sold on it. I read the first book, and it was pure cheese. I remember telling my friend that it was like reading "Sweet Valley High" with vampires.

The first movie came out, and it was a much ballyhooed film. After watching it, my initial reaction was: "Not bad." (Except maybe for Bella's perpetually constipated look.)

Then the second movie came out, followed by the third, and I ended up watching all of them.

And now, I'm highly anticipating the final chapter of this saga. After seeing the trailer, it looks like it's going from "Sweet Valley High meets Vampires" to "X-Men meets Vampires."

Either way, I'm lining up for this film. Hahaha.

Monday, September 03, 2012

'Tis the season. Again!

While passing through SM Megamall, I heard this song wafting through the air.

Then I realized, "Gosh, it's September already!"

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, September 02, 2012

When fast food is slow food

Waiting for an hour for food in a restaurant is bad enough. So, waiting for an hour for food at a fast food joint is the worst.

Alas, that's how bad the service was at Pepper Lunch in Robinson's Magnolia was today.

The queue to order and pay was long to begin with. Plus, they only had one cash register. If they had a good system and better staff, I'm sure the line would've moved fast. But no. They only had one counter manned by a slow moving order taker and cashier, which translated to customers waiting for 30 minutes just to get their orders taken.

Eventually, (yes, eventually) they got our orders and it took another 30 minutes to prepare our pepper rice. To think we just ordered 2 plates of pepper rice. And it took them 30 minutes! Gosh.

What got my goat (actually, it was the guy behind me who noticed it) was the fact that while this chaos was happening, we saw the manager and 2 staff just sitting behind the counter doing nothing. They were just idly sitting there, chatting while the line was snaking all over the place.

I mean, maybe they weren't on-duty yet, but they could've made an initiative. One of them could've started order taking and alerting the kitchen for advance orders. Or someone could've helped the counter person get drinks. Yes, the person taking the order and payment is the same person who has to assemble the drinks. No wonder the service was punishingly slow.

If it weren't for Dad, (he wanted to eat Beef Pepper Rice for lunch) I would've left and just gone up to the 3rd floor and ordered at Sizzling Pepper Steak. Heck, their service is so much better.

On days like this, I sure miss the efficiency and quality of Pepper Lunch in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Old school cool

The black Lagefeld-esque skirt is quite versatile that there's actually more than one way to wear it. Aside from pairing it with the high collared blouse, a button up shirt and a cardigan also gives it a different look and feel. 

This pair gives it that 1940s college look. I can imagine it being worn by a character in the film "The Reader," or "Mona Lisa's Smile." It can also be school-marmy-ish, and I mean that in a good way.

Amazing how a different top can make all the difference.