Saturday, May 31, 2014

Teas-ter's Choice

Since things are going to be quite hectic - both at work and at the department - I need something to calm me down and keep me from bouncing around. Tea is always a good choice, and I've recently discovered this brand that lives up to its name.

Celestial Tea is indeed heavenly. At first, I wasn't sure how the flavors of Honey, Lemon and Ginseng would interact. But after trying it, this brand is definitely up there with my favorites - TWG and Twinings.

Friday, May 30, 2014

FMM: Weekend dressing

Looking through this week's entries, I noticed that they were all about fashion and dressing up. So, it's almost like DFW, or Destraido Fashion Week. Harhar.

So, to continue the theme, here's one of Madonna's iconic videos from the 80s.

And that caps off a well-dressed week.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

More short stories

When people think of "shorts," they think casual, athletic, or even lazy. But when paired with the right top, shorts can be very chic and fashion forward.

Take for instance these two ensembles:

The first look combines khaki shorts with the top-du-jour, a loose, boxy top. The sheer shoulders give it that fashion edge, while the colors both echo and complement the color of the shorts.

The second look has a heavily patterned top - a piece from the Camille Co for Tomato collection - and grounds it with plain white shorts. Again, the loose top serves as counterpoint to the short shorts.

I don't see anything casual, athletic or lazy about these ensembles.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A (lace) pattern forming

In the continuing saga of lace...

Most people think that lace is all about random floral patterns. But there are rare occasions where lace has this more systematic and rhythmic pattern that give it a different feel. Instead of being too frilly and girly, it becomes more architectural and art deco.

Just like this pattern. It's bereft of flowers or frill, so it's not the conventional lace.

This very unique lace fabric is from a dress that was part of Vania Romoff's capsule collection for The Ramp.

Everything about this dress is perfection. The fabric is unique, the silhouette is classic, and there's even a touch of yellow velvet to keep the look from looking flat.

It's a combination that can make non-lace believers embrace the lace trend.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Stepping on a classic

To say my sisters have a lot of clothes is an understatement. They actually have enough clothes to last them a year (or more) with no repeats. They have casual dresses, formal gowns, cocktail frocks, and black tie couture. 

The tricky part of having too many clothes, though, is that you also need to have a lot of shoes. After all, certain clothes call for certain types of shoes. Not to mention certain types of occasions. For example, a cocktail dress will require pumps for an office event, but for an evening out, it should be worn with strappy heels.

So, it can be potentially complex, unless you have shoes that are a classic and will go with almost anything and everything.

Just like a perfect pair of pointed pumps. (Ah, an alliteration.)

As shown by Cate and Lilly, pointed pumps go with pretty much everything you wear. It's timeless, seasonless, and when worn, effortless.

Surprisingly, SM has a pair of these classic pumps under their house brand. It's so classy and classic, I knew I had to get them for my sister.

They had it in plain colors and funky patterns. But to keep things classic, I opted for the black pumps.

Nude heels does wonders in elongating the leg, so I had to buy one in that color as well.

Aside from looking good with dresses, these heels would look awesome with boyfriend jeans as well.

Makes me wonder what will Ate wear these with first.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Lacy lady

Here's further proof that lace is a continuing trend for the year.

Of course, we all know that there a lot of lace dresses, tops, shirts and shorts. But aside from using actual lace in clothes, some brands print lace on fabric to give that lace feel without the added layer. Just like this dress from the S/S2014 collection of Dolce and Gabbana.

Well hello there! Here's a pretty dress that I found at The Haunt. Does it look familiar?

From afar, it looks like a lace overlay, but when you come near, you'll see that it's just a trompe l'oleil -ish print.

I like how this version lowered the lace in the bust area. The space on top adds drama to the dress.

Since the dress has a very lady-like, Charles James type of silhouette, I threw in a black belt to emphasize the waist.

Overall, it's a very versatile dress that can go from Sunday brunch or to an office event. 

Heck, it will even be perfect for a 7:45 am wedding in U.P. Diliman. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Lacy boy

Lace continues to be a big trend this season. One thing I noticed is that instead of the fine and frilly lace that most people are familiar with, designers and fast fashion brands are using guipure and chemical lace. Proof is this awesome shirt that I found in one of my haunts.

The pattern is solid and grounded, which is a departure from the frill of the usual lace.

Since the top is already girly, this shirt is best paired with something more boyish. And that's where this pair of boyfriend jeans from Loft come in.

The shoes that go with this look are ones that have a substantial and chunky heel. The perfect pair is this gray wedge shoes that Ate Lissa has had for a few years already.

Add them all together and you've got a look that girly and boyish at the same time.

I'm sure Ate Lissa will rock this look easily.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Little Style: The Javier edition

When Jul and Carl were kids, I remember buying them matching clothes. When I say "matching clothes" I don't mean their clothes match each others. I mean their clothes match my own. Hahaha. Somewhere out there, there's a photo of me and Carl wearing the same striped shirt and blue short combination. 

If it worked for Jul and Carl, it'll definitely work for Javier. So the past few weeks, I've been buying him clothes that I'd wear myself. (If they came in a much bigger size, of course.)

First, a pair of striped denim shorts from Cotton On.

A blue shirt from Terranova.

A chambray shirt, also from Terranova.

And blue chino shorts from SM Department store.

Put these together and you can go with this look:

 Or this look:

Either way, it's a stylish ensemble that looks awesome of Javier.

Friday, May 23, 2014

FMM: Fra-day

Still on the subject of the Side A concert at Robinson's Magnolia, one of the members sang a non-Side A song at one point. The song he sang was a cover of a Per Sorensen song, which was something I liked a lot.

Of course, Per Sorensen is the lead singer of Fra Lippo Lippi - a Norweigan group who was hugely humungous (Yup, they were that big) back in the 80s.

They're music was a bit on the New Wave side, and it was a mainstay in all the proms, soirees and interactions back in the 80s. And one of their biggest hits was a song entitled "Everytime I see you."

It's been a while since I listened to a Fra Lippo Lippi song, and I'm glad that last Saturday's concert reminded me of this group. They need to be in my playlist again soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Another Target

If the upcoming designer collaborations aren't dizzying enough (Alexander Wang x H&M, Roland Mouret x Banana Republic), there's another one joining the fray!

Joseph Altuzarra for Target!

Now that's something to look forward to in September.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mirror, mirror

In the process of cleaning my USB, I found this photo from Mom's birthday 2 years back.

It's such a fun photo. Eventhough I couldn't see myself in it. (I'm the one covered by the flash.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Moss valuable

Another pleasant surprise that greeted me when I went to Robinsons Magnolia this weekend was the Topshop branch there. 

The reason? The carried the 2014 Kate Moss for Topshop collection!

There are a lot of nice pieces from the collection, such as the fringed dress and the fringed leather jacket. But methinks that the biggest seller will be this canary yellow dress.

Since everything is new, it's still sold at regular prices. As usual, I suggest that folks hold back buying it for a few months or so, and wait until it goes on sale. It's bigger bang for the buck, and you get more value for money.

Monday, May 19, 2014

By your Side A

It's been ages since D' Frendz watched a concert. In fact, I think the last time I watched a concert with Bonique and Alfie was in Annapolis Live. (Yes, it was that long ago.)

Saturday night changed that, though. Thanks to the heads up from Bonique, we were able to watch an outdoor concert at Robinsons Magnolia. 

The band playing was Side A, which was one of the quintessential bands of our generation. Ask anyone to sing "Forevermore" and "Tuloy pa rin," and they'll probably know it by heart.

Needless to say, majority of the audience were people from our generation. People who would sing with Joey G. and shriek everytime he would approach the audience. Yup, it's been almost 2 decades since they broke through the music scene, and they still have that charisma and appeal.

After listening to Side A for almost an hour, one thing I realized that this was more than just a concert. It was actually a walk down memory lane.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Seeing double

It's been clearly established that I'm a chocolate milk fan. 

Whether I'm in Manila, Mexico, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Prague or Tokyo, I'm always on the look out for rich, creamy, chocolate milk.

A year ago, I discovered Vitamilk Choco Shake, and it was awesome. A few weeks ago, I discovered that the same brand just doubled up their choco ante and came up with this:

Vitamilk Double Choco Shake!

The product lives up to its name. There's double the amount of choco syrup at the bottom of the bottle, and the color is a deeper brown hue compared to the original choco shake.

Needless to say, I'm hooked. I think I've been drinking this every other day.

Who would've thought that soy milk can be this doubly good?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Chair up!

After reluctantly accepting the position of Chairperson of the Mass Comm department, I find myself in school today to dispense my first duty - to tell students that they're in danger of being delisted.


While I contemplate how to do that duty in the most cheerful way possible, I'll savor this moment by playing some "chair" related music.

Here's Dionne:

And Michael:

Gosh, these chair songs turn out to be weepy ones. Not helping at all. Harhar.

Friday, May 16, 2014

FMM: Part of the cult

Back in the 80s, one of the singers that a lot of girls danced to was Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam.

Their songs always had a catchy melody, fun lyrics and a refrain that would just play in your head again and again and again. It was so LSS inducing that 80s kids can probably still sing her song in its entirety today.

I mean, who can forget "Lost in Emotion."

Or "Head to Toe."

It was one cult you wouldn't mind jamming to.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Oh my how they've grown! Part quatre!

Jul and Carl are my first 2 nephews. Being the proud Tito that I am, I would carry photos of the 2 boys and show it to my friends and classmates back in UP.

I can still vividly remember when they were babies. Jul was born in 1990, and he was born a few days before the big earthquake. I remember how he was still in the playpen when the ground started shaking, and everyone rushed to shield him from impending harm.

Carl was born 11 months after Jul. And he was so cute with his big eyes, chubby cheeks and very fair skin.

Now, looking at this photo of the two boys, now both college graduates in the U.S., I'm just amazed at how fast they've grown.

And just like how it was 20+ years ago, seeing how far they've gone makes me feel like a proud Tito.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Life of Fi

A few days ago, my sister told me this funny story that happened at their bakeshop. There was a conversation between their server and customer, and it went like this:

CUSTOMER: "Miss, meron ba kayong wi-fi?"
SERVER: (After thinking about it for a while) "Wala po, sir. Ang meron po kami, Chicken fi, Pineapple fi at Apple fi."

Now that's a conversation.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The ROYGBIV Project

While we were at Showakinen Park a month ago, Mark was so inspired by the colors he saw in the park that he launched his "ROYGBIV Project" on the spot. His objective was to take a photo of me along with flowers that correspond with the ROYGBIV colors. 

And after roaming around the park for a few hours, here's what we came up with:

I think all our flower bed hopping paid off. The results were truly colorful.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Doggone cute!

My Atlanta-based nephews - Jul and Carl - are very much into dogs. They both have Siberian Huskies who are part of their family. That's why when my brother and nieces visited them, they not only spent time with the 2 boys, but with their dogs as well.

Toni posted some photos of her encounter with the doggies, and they're adorbz!

I like two photos in particular. First is this one which is perfect for a meme.

And the second one is this photo with the dog (I think his name is Storm) is doing his best "Mikayla's not impressed" look.

Doggone it! Why do they have to be so cute?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Of success and sacrifice

They say Motherhood is the most difficult job in the world. It's a job that's 24/7 and there are no days off. Plus, there's the thing about "all-work and no pay," which is true.

They say that it entails a lot of selflessness and sacrifice. It's more a vocation rather than an occupation. Most often, Mothers even give up things for their family.

But oftentimes, the pay-off for those sacrifices are much greater. The greatest being a family that's happy, content, close knit and blessed with so much love and learnings from a Mother who has tirelessly guided each child from birth up until the present time.

My Mom is one such mother. When she married my Dad, she gave up her profession as an English teacher, and decided to leave her entire family and move to Manila. In place of that, she took on an even more difficult job, which was to raise 5 kids who weren't exactly perfect and ideal. And despite that difficulty, she patiently guided each one until they all found their place in this world.

Despite all the difficulty and sacrifices, it's easy to see how much it's paid-off.

We're now part of a family that's happy, content, close knit and blessed with so much love. We were blessed with learnings from a Mother who tirelessly guided my Kuya Marv, Ate Lissa, Ate Bullet, Biboy and myself. Through her guidance, we've found our place in the world, with her just gently nudging us rather than forcing us to follow a certain path.

And for that, we'll forever be grateful to Mom.

And for that, I am forever grateful to my Mom.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Soba So Good

Whenever I miss the cold Kakiage soba that I often have in Tokyo, I always run to Komoro Soba in Megamall. Among the other restaurants where I've tried this dish, I think Komoro Soba is the most legit.

They have the taste down pat. The green soba has the right firmness and bite, the dipping sauce has the right flavor and kick once you've added the shallots and wasabi, and the Kakiage is crunchy and crusty as I remember the original one to be.

The only difference of this dish to the one being sold in Tokyo is that the portions are smaller, which I can deal with. I can always order 2 if the need arises.

So, as far as cold Kakiage sobas go, nothing gives me an authentic taste of Tokyo like Komoro Soba.

(Which reminds me that this restaurant is considered a "glorified carinderia" in Japan. The last time Mark and I ate there this April, some locals were scoffing at the place. Harhar.)

Friday, May 09, 2014

FMM: Super!

Friday is feeling funky, so today's Friday Magic Madness song is this super funky tune from the 80s.

Raps don't get any more super than this!

Thursday, May 08, 2014

I'm feeling you, Sister!

Sister Cristina is definitely the best reality show singer since Carrie Underwood. Watching her is such a joy, not to mention so inspiring. My heart wells with joy each time I see her perform. Especially after she sang this iconic song from the 80s.

Judging by the comments and support that she's been getting, it's clear that people are feeling this singing Sister from Italy. And she's already inching her way towards her goal of evangelizing through song.

Now that's definitely a good feeling.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Twin Chics

There are two reasons why I'd tune in to "Full House" on Channel 9 when I was a youngster. The two reasons are Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen - better known as the Olsen Twins.

They were adorable as kids, and they've grown up to be two fashionable and undeniably chic ladies.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Strangely interesting

As a fast food joint, KFC is known to be very creative when it comes to their products. In fact, they've found 1001 ways to use their hotshots - putting them in tortillas, serving them on top of rice, among other things.

But this take creative cuisine to the hilt.

Honestly, I like Clover chips and I like KFC. But will I like them together?

We shall see!

Monday, May 05, 2014

I Ken't Wait!

A few months more and they're showing "Rurouni Kenshin 2: Kyoto Inferno"!


Sunday, May 04, 2014

Feel the Hepburn

And Audrey Hepburn get her very own google search icon in celebration of her 85th birthday! How cool is that?

She totally deserves it. After all, if you search timeless style and elegance on google, chances are, you'll be directed to her.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Cocoa Loco

Here's one thing I was crazy about when I was in Tokyo.

The thing with drinks in Japan is they aren't sweet. As Mark pointed out, even their sodas aren't that sweet.

I guess that's the reason why I like Van Houten Cocoa so much. It has that rich, chocolate flavor, but isn't sweet. So, you taste the creaminess of the chocolate without being overwhelmed by the sweetness of it all.

Despite Mark's warnings, I'd find myself finishing one carton of this in one sitting. And before I flew back to Manila, Mark even surprised me with a small box of Van Houten.

Maybe they have this in some Japanese grocery somewhere in Manila.

Friday, May 02, 2014

FMM: Oh summer!

There are songs that automatically remind me of summer. Songs that conjure up images of sunny days in the province, riding a bike and feeling the wind on your face. Then, you hit the beach and swim with your siblings and cousins, and stop when Lolo and Lola calls everyone for lunch. And at night, you gather by the bonfire, telling stories while watching the stars.

One such song is this Alessi Brother's classic:

Suddenly, I miss the summers of my youth.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Labor of love

While everyone was enjoying the labor day holiday, some members of the Mass Comm faculty saw this as an opportunity to meet and talk about the upcoming school year.

Some people might think that we're nerds for thinking of school when we're supposed to be out watching Spiderman or hitting the mall or the beach.

But hey, we love our students so much that we don't mind setting aside this holiday for them.