Sunday, November 30, 2014

If you seek Amy

Amy Poehler, that is, then you should check out the new commercials of Old Navy. She's in them, and she's hilarious in them!

Well-written, well-acted, well-edited, and Amy Poehler! What's not to like about these commercials.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

This means wars!

Star Wars, that is!

They've finally released the teaser-trailer for Episode 7.

Now I'm all geeky and giddy.

Friday, November 28, 2014

FMM: That's news!

Today is Ate Bullet's birthday. And it's a Friday!

This calls for a mash-up!

The Friday Magic Madness song I chose is a song that Ate Bullet and I danced to when we were kids. (Yes, I used to dance when I was a kid. Go figure.) 

I still remember that party vividly. It was the Dela Merced's house in Morato, and each family had to prepare a dance number. First, we danced to Toni Basil's "Street Beat," and when they asked for an encore. the two of us danced to Huey Lewis and the News' "Heart and Soul."

That was fun. I'd never do it again, but it was fun.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Merchandising is everything

So I was at the Fully Booked branch in SM Megamall Fashion Hall when my eyes were drawn to a bag tag display area at one corner of the store.

I'd love to say that I was drawn to the area because of the fabulous tags on display, but I can't. 

Here's the reason why:

Seriously, what was the merchandising display person thinking?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

And Makati makes three

The people behind H&M Philippines have been very busy.

They've been here for less than 2 months, and they're already opening their 3rd store. They have a faster rate of opening than HKG did back in 2007.

Christmas shopping is sure to be a lot more fun this year.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

First out the gate

This year was huge for designer collaborations.

From Target's team-up with Peter Pilotto and Joseph Altuzarra, to Alexander Wang's collection with H&M, to Kate Moss' return to Topshop, to Elie Tahari's turn at Kohl's - each one was much ballyhooed, and for good reason.

All these high end designer and mass brand team-ups are now leaving fashionistas wondering: "who's next?"

Well, Kohl's already gave us one answer.

It's Milly x Kohl's!

The first time I found out Milly was when I was still living in HKG. Automatically, I found her designs to be ultra-feminine and a lot of fun. And judging by her initial snaps of her collection, there's pretty much of that going around.

One brand down, I wonder who's next?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Two times the texture

With the weather getting nippier by the day, it's actually a good time to consider more textured clothing for everyday wear. Of course, our weather will never merit wool, cashmere or angora, but you can always wear something thicker, just like this textured dress that I got Ate Lissa.

The fabric is this heavy cotton knit blend, and it has an embossed design that makes it look like jacquard. But unlike jacquard, it's lighter and moves better.

If it becomes too breezy and your exposed shoulder is leaving you cold, you can always top it off with another texture - faux leather.

For our climate, faux leather is better because it's lighter. This H&M jacket has a lot of moto details, adding texture and giving it some edge.

Together, the two textures and colors meld nicely, making for a chic and cozy ensemble for a nippy day.

It's always more chic to dress for the cold.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

She's got it maid!

As I was randomly surfing youtube, I came across this wonderful video about a project called "Prank it forward." It's a group who does good things for deserving people, and these things usually come in the form of a surprise.

The video I saw was about a maid who's so used to working that she hardly has time for herself.

That was until the day she got pranked.

This is such an inspiring and touching video. We should do something like this here in Manila.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Color story: Blush hour

It was about a month ago when Ate Bullet told me that they were attending this event at The Marriott. It was an evening cocktail event, and she was expecting that everyone would be wearing an LBD. 

Not wanting to get lost in a sea of black, she asked me what else could she wear that says "cocktail."

So I told her, wear something blush. And she did.

This classic shift dress is made of neoprene, and has a very streamlined shape. There are no seams in the front and back of the dress, which gives it a very minimalist vibe. Plus, it has a high jewel collar which adds to the chic-ness of the dress.

To keep it from looking too boring, I added a statement necklace, also in blush.  It was perfect for the neckline and added a focal point to the look.

She eventually wore this ensemble and - as expected - she stood out with this look. People remarked how she was so "pretty in pink."

She should've said - "thanks, but it's pretty in blush pink."

Friday, November 21, 2014

FMM: Dennis no menace

Since I'm in the mood for something 90s this Friday, I'm brining out one of the most popular dance artists of that decade, Cathy Dennis!

How can you not feel good with a song like this?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Fever pitch!

The rumors were floating around for so long, but today, it's finally confirmed.

There's a sequel to "Pitch Perfect"!

Being huge fans of the first movie, I'm sure Mark and I will watch this one as soon as it comes out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


It was late last year when I first saw neoprene being used for everyday clothing. 

What used to be known as a material used for scuba suits was suddenly appearing as boxy tops, full skirts, shift dresses and coats.

I thought it would be a quick fad, but after a year, neoprene is still around. And now, they're printed, pin-tucked and prettier. Just check out these items from SM Department Store.

This dress looks like silk from afar, but once you come nearer, you see how the thick, neoprene holds the shape of the dress. The seaming is highlighted with black thread, which gives it a more contemporary look.

The pleating on the skirt also adds a point of interest. It's almost like a tulip skirt, albeit fuller and more feminine.

The same silhouette was available in another print, one that's quieter and more classic.

They look like Iris, and it gives the dress a very Van Gogh look and feel.

The effect on the skirt works very well with the print.

With dresses like these, it's really easy to preen in neoprene.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A real-life fairy tale

Disney is on a roll!

After the uber successful retelling of "Maleficent," they're coming up with another live action film based on a well-loved fairy tale.

I'm going to watch this for several reasons:

1. It's from Disney
2. It's directed by Kenneth Branagh
3. Helena Bonham Carter

Sold! Can't wait 'til March!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Make mine a Grande

For their last issue of the year, I was expecting InStyle to go with an old reliable who hasn't appeared this 2014. After all, I haven't seen Gwyneth Paltrow or Beyonce just yet.

Imagine the pleasant surprise when I saw this fresh face on the cover. 

Honestly, I never saw Ariana Grande coming. After all, she's still an upstart in the industry and isn't really known as a style icon.

But I've always thought surprises were good. So, well played, InStyle. Well played.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Don't Mock me

Just like the "Twilight" series a few years back, I'm eagerly waiting for the next installment - and the eventual conclusion - of the Young Adults series du jour, "The Hunger Games."

And with the first part of "Mockingjay" in cinemas in a week, I have to say that I'm thrilled!

Yup, I'm still a young adult in some ways.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Prints Perfect

As a huge fan of prints, it's virtually impossible for me to not stop and browse whenever I see an interesting one.

And when the print is really, super duper, uber guber pretty and interesting, that browsing usually turns to buying. Which was the case when I got my sisters these 3 dresses with perfectly pretty prints. (Aye, an alliteration!)

First up, this silk jersey dress with an oriental-inspired print.

It has this very chinois-inspired lotus print, set against a bold palette of black, green, red and coral. The simple silhouette balances out the complexity of the fabric design.

Second, a dress that's part-Mary Quant and part-Suzie Wong.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of blue and white, ming vase inspired prints. And this one is all that!

Third, and the most perfect one of yet, this photographic floral print that's very Mary Katrantzou!

The attention to detail is impressive. They made it a point to center the print, and seam the dress in a way that the pattern isn't disrupted.

 Yup, you can put it on print - these dresses are perfect.

Friday, November 14, 2014

FMM: Feel the energy!

Considering how the past few days went, this 80s classic from Evelyn Thomas can very well be my song.

Imagine, yesterday at 6:00am, we were flying out to Tagbilaran for a shoot. Now, it's Friday at 6:30am, and I'm in the hotel cafe waiting for our van to take us to the airport for our flight back to Manila.

It's the type of day when this type of energy comes in handy.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Has it been a week?

It's hard to believe that it's been a week since I came back from Tokyo. It feels like just yesterday when Mark and I were scouring the streets of Ginza, Shinjuku, Roppongi and Nakano. And now, I'm back scouring the streets of Ortigas, Makati and Cubao.

It's a week that just whizzed by so fast. And I'm glad to have photos like this - our birthday breakfast at Italian Tomato Cafe - to look back at and remember how great the trip was.

I wish there was a way for time to slow down. Seriously.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hello Hakone! part trois: Sea and Sky

During last week's Hakone trip, we were able to ride every mode of transport imaginable. 

On our first day, we rode the train from Shinjuku to Hakone, then took the cable car from Hakone Yumumoto to the Hakone Open Air Museum. Then, we took the bus from the city to the hotel. And that was just day 1.

Day 2 saw us taking more trips around the scenic environs using other means of transport.

First, we took the gondola as we went up, up, and up to the top of the mountain to buy the famous black eggs. (Or African-American eggs, if you want to be politically correct about it. Harhar.)

Then, we took the cruise around Lake Ashi. The weather was perfect for the boat ride around the clear lake. The water was stunning and looked so clean. If it were summer, I wouldn't mind taking a dip in the lake.

Imagine, we were able to accomplish all that in just 2 days.

That's definitely 2 days that were very, very, very well spent.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

We meet again!

Another highlight of my Tokyo trip was being able to go back to Odaiba. This place will always have a place in my heart since it was Mark's former place of residence.

While we were there, we got to see the Gundam show all over again.

And we were able to eat the divinely delicious Tonkotsu Ramen with the funky nori wrap.

These are some things that are really worth going back to.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

What comes after the Love Boat?

The Romance Car, of course! Harhar!

Yup, this is what we rode from Hakone to Tokyo. And no, there's nothing romantic inside.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

There is no "I" in "Team"

But there is "I" in "Team Pizza Party!"

Even if it was a day late, I was able to celebrate with my creative team at work. The accounts group brought the Estrel's cake, while I brought the pizza and soda. And that was enough to make our happy weekend even happier.

Friday, November 07, 2014

FMM: In living Colored

Colored Kisses, that is.

Presenting the song that I used to study to. There was something about the melody, as well as the voice of Martika, that relaxed me. And that made it easier to study.

And since I'm studying my course outlines for the first day of class tomorrow, might as well listen to this song again.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Un fiesta pequeno

On the night before my birthday, we decided to have a little Mexican-themed salubong with Mark, Kris and Danica.

I prepared chicken quesadillas, using a recipe that I learned from my anfitrion way back when I was staying in Mexico. They liked it a lot and even said that it tasted super authentic. Mama Nora would be so orgulloso!

Mark made taco filling which we also used as nacho toppings. Then, we washed it down with different flavors of Suntory, and a smattering of Smirnoff.

And as the clock struck 12 midnight, they sang "Happy Birthday," and I welcomed my first birthday in Tokyo.

It was a wonderful way to start my birthday.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Fall foliage

Another reason I went to Japan in November is to watch the autumn colors. This time of year, the leaves start to change from deep green to vibrant reds and yellows.

When I arrived last Saturday, I saw the trees were still green. Not a red or yellow in sight!

And just as we were about to give up on seeing the colors of fall, Hakone treated us to this.

How can you not fall for the sight of fall colors?

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Hello Hakone! part deux

Hakone is known as the place where you can get great views of Mount Fuji.

The moment we woke up, that's the first thing we looked for. Lo and behold, we were treated to a beautiful view of the snow capped magnificence that is Mount Fuji.

Such awesomeness! And it was just the beginning of the day.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Hello Hakone!

Instead of staying in Tokyo the entire time, we thought of going on an out-of-town adventure this time around. It led us to a popular destination which is just 2 hours outside Tokyo - Hakone!

And no, it's not a sardine-making prefecture.

Hakone is actually known for many things. From its serene environment, its beautiful vistas, lush greeneries and clean lakes - it's a very different experience from the concrete jungle that is Tokyo. 

Since we only had 2 days there, we made sure we checked out all the nice spots as fast as we possibly could.

First stop was the Hakone Open Air Museum. This is a novel concept because 90% of the art is found outdoors, and it communes with nature in a seamless and breathtaking manner.

They have one gallery that's dedicated solely to the works of Picasso. From his paintings, sculptures, as well as photographs of the master at work. It's a must-see for art enthusiasts.

After that, we retreated to our hotel and rested because the 2nd day was going to be just as fun and packed.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

The honorary student

In Japan, I'm commonly known as "the honorary student." That's because the Pinoy students often see me hanging out in GRIPS, and Sunday afternoon was no different. With the cake that Ate Bullet made as centerpiece, we had a coffee and cake get together in school, and I got to meet the new batch of kohais.

This is actually the 4th batch of Masteral and Doctoral students that I've met in GRIPS. The first one was the batch of Mark, Ivy and Macel. They were followed by Laarni, Kruni and Daniel. Third was Maraya, Ayla and Yvitte.

It's nice to get to meet my new "classmates."

Saturday, November 01, 2014