Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mini (It really wasn't) Me

When I showed Mother Lyli this photo of Javier, she exclaimed: "Clest, alam ko na ang hitsura mo nung bata ka!"

Well, we didn't have jogger pants or Crocs when we were kids, neither did we have really cool statement tees from H&M. But judging by his features, I must say Mother is right.

Javier and I are look-alikes!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I see a Vision!

Among the myriad of characters in the Marvel Universe, one of my all-time favorites is Vision.

That's why it was such a thrill when I found out that he's appearing the "Avengers: The Age of Ultron."

I haven't seen the film and most of my friends who have gave it bad reviews. But I think I'll watch it for the sake of this character.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Milly's a beach!

The Milly x Kohl's collection is finally on-line, and I was interested to see how it differed from the Milly x Banana Republic collection from a few years back. And as it turns out, there's a big difference.

Her Kohl's collection is inspired by the island of Capri, so the clothes she created are very laid back and beach-ready. This is unlike her Banana Republic collection which was Milly in terms of fabric but Banana Republic in silhouette.

Being a tropical country, it's easy to see her Kohl's collection worn by people here in the Philippines. Which makes me wish you could actually buy on-line and send it here in Manila. Unfortunately, though, they don't ship here.

Then again, if there's a will, there's a way.

Monday, April 27, 2015

More Florties

When I was in Greenhills yesterday, I dropped by Shoppesville and went to my usual haunts. That's when I saw this beauty from afar, and immediately knew that it would look perfect on Ate.

It's another fabulous florties dress in a rich, emerald color.

It had a full skirt, which is very forties. But the fabric makes it modern and tres chic!

Obviously, this fabulous dress went home with me and is now hanging in Ate Lissa's closet.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Gimme Smores

Gonuts Donuts might not be as big and famous as they were a few years ago, but I have to say, they still come up with the most innovative donuts.

Case in point: their Smores donut!

Being a huge fan of smores, I enjoy anything and everything smores flavored. That's why this donut hits the right spot. With its marshmallow topping, cookie bits and caramel drizzle, it's decadently divine!

It's smore than I can ask for!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

I'm Free!

My guilty pleasure last week was listening to this very catchy, very juvenile, and very not-me song.

If you thought the fact that I like listening to Taylor Swift was bad, now I'm listening to Ariana Grande!

Gosh, I need to break free from this LSS. Harhar.

Friday, April 24, 2015

FMM: Feel the Burns

One of my favorite - and underrated - acts of the 80s is a group of sisters from New York called "The Burns Sisters."

They had a cult following in the U.S., and they actually had one hit that made it big around the world. It's this infectious ditty called "I Wonder Who's Out Tonight."

Chances are, you know this song but had no clue who sang it. Well now, you do.

Now let's feel the Burns!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

We are Avenged!

You know it's a Hollywood blockbuster when all - and I do mean ALL - the theaters in Metro Manila are showing that film. And that film alone!

Yup, Avengers is showing in all 14 theaters in SM Megamall, all 10 theaters in Galleria, and all the theaters everywhere!

Well, at least it will make the question "What movie do you want to watch?" moot and academic.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Going away Mad

After 8 years and 7 seasons, "Mad Men" is finally saying goodbye.

I enjoyed Mad Men because it was one of the more realistic portrayals of the advertising industry on television. Plus, despite the fact that this is a period drama, their plot lines are as relevant now as they were then.

There was a more recent attempt to capture advertising world via "The Crazy Ones," starring the late Robin Williams. But that, too, didn't fly.

So, until a new series that's this good comes along, bye Mad Men. We'll miss you.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cheery cherry

As a self-confessed cherry fan, it's quite frustrating that fresh cherries are few and far between in the Philippines. Makes me miss living in HKG where there were cherries in almost every street corner.

To make up for that longing, I usually check out "cherry derivatives" in the supermarket. These are any cherry-flavored items - be it candies, snacks or drinks.

And these are the most common cherry drinks I see in the supermarkets.

First is Cherry 7-Up. I remember trying this almost 10 years ago in Mexico, and found it wanting in cherry flavor. I wonder if they reformulated already?

Second is Cherry Coke. Among the flavored Coke variants, I find this the best. And I'm not biased due to my cherry obsession. Although you have to drink it super duper chilled, or else it tends to be super sweet.

But since my stomach doesn't really allow me to drink soda, good thing there are more natural and zero carbonation options. And my favorite is the Tipco Cherry Berry juice drink.

It has cherries, blueberries and raspberries, in a natural juice form. Whenever I buy this, I have to control myself, though, since I tend to finish one pack in one sitting. So far, there are no other juice brands that offer cherry, so this is the one I buy each time.

Now, if The Berry Company has a cherry drink of their own, that would be a definite must-try!

Monday, April 20, 2015


If there's one recurring trend I noticed of late, it's floral print skirts in a full, forties silhouette. 

I thereby call this trend, the Florties! (Floral + Forties. Get it. Get it.)

And in a mall run a few weeks ago, I got Ate Lissa some uber nice Florties outfits.

It started with this black silk skirt with fuchsia floral prints. I like how the print jumps out of the fabric due to its saturated color.

Then, I paired it with this black capelet blouse with a high neck and a collar. Very Lagerfeld!

The result is a very elegant nod to the forties.

But since summer is all about bright colors, I whipped up the entire ensemble in a more vibrant color. Such as this white skirt in bright floral prints.

Echoing the green of the leaf print, I got the same capelet blouse in a pastel color.

And here's how the entire ensemble turned out.

This outfit will definitely make Ate Lissa feel Florties and fabulous!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lilly has landed!

It's here! It's really here!

Now enough chatter. Time to check out nice stuff on-line.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Student sightings

For a teacher, there's a great feeling of joy whenever you run into a former student. And the joy grows exponentially when you see the student succeeding in her chosen field.

That's why I was overjoyed when I bumped into Meg in GMA last week. She's doing well for herself as a copywriter in GMA's Creative Services Department. And I'm sure she has a bright future ahead of her in this field.

Friday, April 17, 2015

FMM: Feeling Peachy

It's a Friday! And I'm feeling particularly 70s today. Blame it on our constant "throwback" conversations during all our editing sessions this week.

One of my favorite and quintessential 70s acts has to be Peaches and Herb. They have such a unique and catchy sound.

Whether it's a disco ditty that makes you shake your groove thang,

or a ballad that makes you want to be reunited,

you can be sure that your mood will end up peachy (and herby) keen.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Here Kitty Kitty

Ate Lissa is a Sanrio fan. Since we were kids, she already loved buying Sanrio goodies from Gift Gate in Quezon Avenue. There were times when she'd get them straight from Japan, courtesy of Mom's Japanese friend and pen pal, Sachiko. 

Whenever I'm in Japan, I try to scope Sanrio goodies to bring home to Ate. During my last trip to Tokyo, I found out that the Happy Meal toy was Hello Kitty, so I dragged Mark to the nearest McDonald's so I could get a few.

It's very apt that the tumbler had this line that said: "Making Families Happy."

Ate Lissa was happy when I gave her the toys last week. So was Javier, as he asked Ate to open them all and wear the trinkets inside the toy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Seeing Stars

The 2nd teaser trailer for the new Star Wars film just dropped!

I have no words.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Javi Loves... part deux


That's his favorite Minecraft character, and I was able to find 3 different types of Stevie toys on different occasions.

And Javier loves each one equally.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Kidding aside

Wasn't it just yesterday when Audrey and Lucas were teeny tiny tots?

Now, the kids are growing up! Audrey is a K2 student and Lucas is a gregarious and talkative little chap!

I'll echo what's running in the minds of their parents:

"Don't grow up too fast. Please."

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Park and Shop

Gateway Mall is one of the closest malls to where I live, so it's one of my default malls if I need to get something. 

Whenever I'm there, my go-to places are Uniqlo, Rustan's, People are People, and Shoe Salon. For food, it's usually Taco Bell, Pancake House or World Chicken. These places have become my routine, to the point that I don't really get to explore the other parts of the mall.

This weekend, I missed my elevator stop and ended up at the topmost floor of Gateway. And when I stepped out, I was surprised to find this!

There's actually a park at the topmost level of Gateway!

Well, it's a sort-of-park since there's a 50-50 split between real greens and faux plants. Or as Bugs Bunny once said: "fake grass, artificial air, artificial..."

The park is called "Garden Topiary" due to the abundance of topiaries in different shapes and sizes. They're mostly animal shapes, such as these elephants. There are also some birds, swans, and a herd of giraffe scattered all over the place. (And yes, they're made of plastic plants.)

While not as vast or fresh as the sky gardens of Trinoma, Glorietta or SM, I think this park at Gateway is a good start in introducing some greens in the Cubao area.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Kate and Color

The April issue of InStyle is one of my most awaited ones. Their annual "The Color Issue" is a comprehensive issue on the upcoming colors for the season, and how to incorporate them into daily living. What's nice is that they don't just limit it to fashion, they also incorporate those colors into the home, entertaining, and even food.

And this year's Color Issue features one of my favorite actresses, Kate Winslet. She's such a chameleon. I loved her rom-com turn in "The Holiday," as well as her heart-wrenching portrayal in "The Reader."

Two favorites in one issue! How colorfully cool is that?

Friday, April 10, 2015

FMM: They're Back(street)

While traversing EDSA, I saw a huge billboard that announced the concert of Backstreet Boys in Manila this May.

Really? Backstreet Boys?

But I must admit, I did like their songs when they were catapulted to fame during the 90s boy band invasion. And whether we liked it or not, we all sang "As long as you love me" during that decade.

For the longest time, I thought they disbanded already. But this concert proves otherwise.

So, to quote one of their more popular hits:

"Backstreet's back, alright!"

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Refreshing your wardrobe

It's less than 2 weeks before the Lilly Pulitzer x Target collaboration drops, and they've released their full look book for everyone to salivate on.

The dresses in the collection definitely scream summer. In refreshing colors and prints, as well as free and easy silhouettes, these can be a girl's summer uniform - for the entire summer. It's very faithful to the Lilly Pulitzer aesthetic, and is almost like the clothing equivalent of a tall glass of ice cold lemonade.

Last year, I was able to stalk the Altuzarra x Target collaboration on-line, and was rewarded with 4 key pieces. Now I'm wondering if I should do the same for this collection.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Oh my how they've grown! Part six!

Last weekend, our little Kurt Paturt graduated from High School!

Gosh! My baby nephew is now a college student!

And I'm glad to see how he's growing up to be such wonderful young man.

Congratulations, Paturt!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Javi Loves... part un

Today is Javier's birthday. My smart, adorable and extraordinary nephew is turning 9 today!

One endearing trait of Javi Davi Doo (that's what I call him until now) is that when he loves something, he really, really, really, really, really loves it. There are certain things that he loves with so much passion that he gets super excited whenever he sees it.

Among his loves is the "Dumb ways to die" series. From the TV commercial to the on-line game, he's super duper into it. That's why when Ate Bullet made him a "Dumb ways to die" inspired cake, his eyes lit up and he couldn't stop admiring it.

Javier loved the cake so much, he couldn't help giving Numpty and Ninny a kiss. (Yes, they have names apparently. Good thing Ate Lissa knows.)

This cake is one reason why he had a lovely birthday today.

Monday, April 06, 2015

Short and meaningful

That's our joke about the Sakura season. 

Better yet, it's the truth about the Sakura season.

When I arrived in Tokyo last Saturday, the cherry blossoms were just beginning to bloom. By the time we went to GRIPS, it was already in full bloom, all the way to the top of the trees.

Come Friday, the rains came and started to wash away the beautiful white and pink blooms. And by the time we had our indoor Hanami yesterday, the trees have already gone from white to green. Then, in a few days, the blooms will be on the ground, and that's the Sakura season for 2015.

So, this visit was really perfect in terms of timing. The delicate blooms set the perfect backdrop to this equally meaningful, albeit short, visit to Japan.

Until the next season.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Feeling up while going down

During last night's Easter Vigil mass in the Franciscan Chapel, there was one song that made such a strong impact on me.

It was a song that I heard for the very first time, and the woman who sang it did such a spectacular job. She wasn't just singing, she was telling a story using her voice. The lyrics alone were powerful, but the way she sang it was equally strong. As I told Mark, "she went all Aretha Franklin on us, and I like it."

The song is "Go down, Moses," and it was such an uplifting song. Mark and I were still singing it on the train ride going home.

Here's an earlier version from Louis Armstrong.

Yes, this is going to be my Holy Week LSS. And it might even go beyond Holy Week.

It's that good.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Season of friendship

The Sakura season is a much awaited one in Japan. That's why when it arrives, you can expect a lot of Pinoys to fly to Tokyo to witness this fleeting and once-in-a-lifetime event.

During this visit to Tokyo, we were fortunate enough to see - and spend time with - several groups of friends. Some were old friends, some were new friends. And it was awesome to get to show them around our favorite haunts in Tokyo.

Just like this moment when we gathered at the illuminated Sakura park in Roppongi. We were joined by Mark's college friends, first for dinner, then for a traditional photo op.

It's amazing how Sakura can make people come together.

Friday, April 03, 2015

FMM: I need a Herod

When we were in High School, our Christian Living teacher asked us to watch "Jesus Christ Superstar" as part of a class activity. And, since then, I've enjoyed watching this again and again and again.

The one we watched was the 1973 version, and my favorite part of the film was the song "King Herod." In fact, I wrote about it on my blog three years ago.

What I didn't know is that there was a 2000 film version. I only found out today when I was once again searching for the musical on youtube. And it turns out, the newer version of "King Herod" is as nice. This one has more sass and pizzazz, but the emotion is still the same.

I must find a full version of this 2000s version.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

I'm a Fan(ta)

 Here's another reason why Japan rocks!

They have Grape Fanta!

This is one of the two beverages I need to drink whenever I'm here. The first one being Van Houten Cocoa!

Drink up!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Meals with Mark: Something to Cro about

St. Marc's Cafe is a common sight in Japan. In fact, it's commonplace to find 2 or 3 branches within a few blocks radius. Despite that, we haven't tried it yet.

When we saw it open in Manila, Mark and I suddenly became curious what the fuss was all about. So, we decided to try it on this trip.

Now we know why the Japanese like it so much. The chocolate croissant is just divine! The pastry is flaky, and the chocolate is rich and creamy.

Now, I have to taste the one in Manila to see if it lives up to the original.