Monday, November 30, 2015

Oh Carolina!

Carolina Herrera is, hands down, one of the most elegant women in fashion today. Everything about her reads refined elegance. Her face and demeanor has class written all over it. It's something that reflects in her designs, and is captured by her go-to ensemble - a crisp, white shirt and a ball skirt.

During the weekend, there were a lot of stores on sale. So, I thought of whipping up a look that's inspired by Carolina Herrera. And a trip to 2 department stores yielded this:

The classic white shirt is from SM Department Store. It has that right amount of crisp, and the folded sleeves make it look more modern.

The full, floral skirt is a find from The Landmark. The pastel colors make it feel light and airy, despite it being full and weighty.

Combined, these 2 pieces create an ensemble that's as classic and refined as the woman who inspired it.

Now, it's time for Ate to bring out her inner Carolina.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Meals with Mark: On Fire

One of the things that Mark and I unconsciously did during my trip to Tokyo last week was to try out new restaurants. While we have our staples (Tempura Tendon Tenya Asakusa, Ootoya, Saizeriya, Friday's, etc.) we thought of venturing far from our culinary comfort zone and go to other places this time.

That's why last Sunday, we tried this burger joint near Todai called Fire House.

According to Mark, this was a popular restaurant for Todai students, as well as burger lovers in general.  This was probably the reason why the place was packed, even if it was an odd hour on a Sunday. We had to wait around 15-20 minutes to get a table, but the food was worth the wait.

I ordered the Tuna Melt sandwich and it was phenomenal! The tuna filling had the perfect blend of creaminess and sweetness, and the chunks of tuna meat were huge. It was served with spiced chips on the side, and it was like mojos, but crispier and spicier.

Mark ordered the mushroom burger with a side of fries, and by the way he polished his plate, I'd say it was really, really, really good burger.

All their sandwiches were served with a big dill pickle, similar to Triple O's. Our guess was it was a palate cleanser after all the overwhelmingly good flavors.

After that really good meal, I have it in good authority that we'll be eating here again sometime soon.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Not-So-Sweet inflation

The Peppermint Patty cupcake at Cupcakes by Sonya's is an all-time favorite. Ever since they opened their first store in Serendra, this was always my default order. After all, the combination of the moist, chocolate cupcake with the minty icing was sublime.

But recently, I noticed that their cupcake has changed, and not for the better.

First, the icing on top is noticeably shrinking. Before, it used to cover the entire circumference of the cupcake. But now, it's almost like just a small dollop.

Also, the cupcake itself is now quite hard and crumbly. Much like when you leave a cake in the fridge for too long.

My guess that it's inflation catching up on them. After all, it's been a while since they raised their prices. But then again, I'd rather they raise their prices and keep their quality rather than the other way around.

Friday, November 27, 2015

FMM: To real friends

Today's Friday Magic Madness song was inspired by something that happened this week.

Amazing how people who you thought were your best friends turn out to be anything but. And that the friends you least expect turn out to be your true friends.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Two good

Since this is ANTM's last season, choosing a winner will is a bigger challenge. After all, Tyra would want to end her series with a bang. Or at least a statement.

Among the final 4, I think these two models are the ones who can deliver both a bang and a statement.

First, there's Lacey. I think she should win because she has all the goods to become a supermodel. She has the height, the face and that x-factor that could help her make it big in the industry. She has what it takes to be a legit model, which is why she should win.

Second, there's Nyle. He's the first deaf contestant in ANTM, and if he wins, Tyra can banner that as part of her "empowerment" cause. Imagine, a deaf model. It has media mileage written all over it.

So, I'm torn between the two. But if I'll base my decision on who really deserves to be a model, I'm definitely Team Lacey.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fall into you

Aren't fall colors beautiful? That's why I had to visit Tokyo in Autumn. The colors are so rich and inspiring.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Me and hue

Speaking of lights, here are our photos in different shades.

There's the purple reign.

The mellow yellow.

 And the blue man crew.

This was fun. Colorful and fun!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lighten up

Since it's almost Christmas, Tokyo was awash with lights when I visited. In fact, the entire city is participating in the "Night Illumination," and all the different areas of Tokyo brought out their best lighting designs for everyone to enjoy.

That includes us, of course.

Whenever we had the opportunity, Mark and I would have our photos taken with the different illuminations. And the place where we had most fun was in Tokyo Dome.

There were hallways of lights.

And gigantic trees.

These definitely brightened up my visit.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

And it feels so good...

Here's the post I wrote last February about the new Hachiko statue in Tokyo. Instead of being by his lonesome, he's reunited with Dr. Ueno and we see them happily together.

I knew I had to see this statue for myself, so that's what we did this morning.

Everything about this statue is beautiful. The location, the moment, and the emotion you get after seeing it. True to the song lyrics, this reunion really felt so good.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Having a Moomin

Going to the Moomin Cafe is one of the things we set out to do on this visit. So, tonight, we had dinner in Tokyo Dome so we can have coffee at the cafe.

Though the service was a bit spotty tonight, things got better once they delivered our Moomin to our table.

It was definitely a great way to cap our night.

Friday, November 20, 2015

FMM: Pretty Cool

Mark was joking about our visit to the Chiba Premium Outlets and it was like the Rodeo Drive scene from Pretty Woman.

So I thought, heck, that would be a great song for today's Friday Magic Madness!

It's so cool how a song from the 60s sounds as current in 2015.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Client meeting!

While checking out the Uniqlo main store in Ginza, I ran into my former colleague and client, Edmond! It was so random and such a pleasant surprise!

Which leads me to 2 conclusions: 1. It's a small world after all, and 2. Everyone's going to Japan.

I wonder if I'll see anyone else.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Let's go, Tokyo!

I'm up at the crack of dawn.

I have a 8:20am flight to Tokyo, and given how erratic traffic has been due to APEC, I thought it best to wake up really, really, really early and go to the airport much, much, much earlier.

Here goes!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cool Culottes

Culottes were the rage back in the 80s. My sisters had a lot of those, and they'd often wear it on casual days or family trips to Greenhills.

Now as we know in fashion, everything comes back for a second wave. I've been seeing a lot of culottes in fast fashion stores both local and international, and it's a sure sign that the trend is back.

First up, this white culottes playsuit from SM Department Store. The lines are very clean, and it gives the piece a very spartan, classic feel to it.

To keep it from looking too plain, just top it off with a sleeveless lace blouse to add texture to the look.

This is the ensemble that Ate Bullet rocked during my birthday dinner last week.

 A few days after, at Surplus Shop, they had these white NY & Co. linen culottes. The elastic back gives it a very relaxed, weekend feel.

Then, there's this Forever 21 sheer shirt which had a botanical pattern which is very now.

Again, a clean and chic ensemble that Ate Lissa would look great in.

These ensembles make it feel like the 80s all over again, but in a 2015 kind of way.

Monday, November 16, 2015

More Majolica

Yesterday, I went to one of my other haunts and found this blue and white beauty!

It's another piece inspired by D&G's Majolica collection.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

The price of cheap fashion

I've read in a magazine before that low prices shouldn't mean low quality.

There was a dress on the rack of Forever 21 that caught my eye. First, I looked at the design which was really nice. Next, I looked at the price which was really, really, nice.

But then, I checked out the back of the dress and saw this:

Gosh! They're selling damaged goods. And this was the only piece on the rack.

They should have a talk with their merchandisers.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Take me down like I'm a...


That's a pizza brand I haven't had in a while. In Manila, at least.

Mark and I order Domino's in Tokyo. But here in Manila, not so much.

But during yesterday's shoot, we found ourselves at Domino's to buy pizza for the client and crew. I was pleasantly surprised at what I saw. They've redone their image and renovated their stores! And it's really, really nice.

Their new stores have that 50s Americana vibe to them, which is great.

The pizza isn't bad, too. I tried the potato pizza which was surprisingly good! (And not surprisingly carbo-loaded.)

Okay, I'm officially giving Domino's a second look now.

Friday, November 13, 2015

FMM: Sibling Laws

On the drive back from today's shoot, I learned something pleasantly surprising.

Two of my favorite singers are actually siblings!

First is Ronnie Laws who sang "Stay Awake." Still one of my favorite songs to listen to before going to sleep. (Trying to sleep with the song "Stay Awake." Go figure.)

Then, there's Debra Laws. Yup, she from the "Very Special" fame.

Apparently, Ronnie Laws did some vocals for this song, too.

This is solid proof that great talent really does run in the family.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

In the Industry

It's been a while since I last attended an IMC industry event, so I'm glad I found the time to attend this year's Agora Awards.

Not only did I get to reconnect with former colleagues and long-time friends, I also got to hear this very inspiring message from one of the awardees - Sec. Jimenez of DOT. (Who, incidentally, started out in advertising.)

I should do this more often.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Majolica majora

For several times already, I've written about how eye-catching blue and white prints are. Whether they're florals, stripes or graphic prints, there's something about this color combination that automatically elevates a piece of garment into a chic ensemble.

That's why D&G's Majolica collection was one that automatically caught my attention the moment they launched it with their F/W2016 collection.

Imagine the thrill when I saw this dress in one of The Haunts!

It's a beautiful blue and white number which echoes the Majolica print from D&G. Apart from the fact that the print is gorgeous, the fact that they thoughtfully arranged the print around the pattern of the dress ups the chic-quotient by 1000%.

The print is so beautiful, I'm sure this is going to be a conversation piece whenever worn.

This is major!

Monday, November 09, 2015


The Christmas decoration at the Mega Fashion Hall is up, and it's uber chic and impressive!

It's a Christmas tree atop a fashionable carousel. I reminds me of the carousel that Chanel had in one of their fashion shows.

The color palette is Tiffany blue and gold, which is such a classy combination.

When I was still living in HKG, I looked forward to seeing the Christmas decorations at IFC and Elements. They were really well-thought of wonderfully executed.

Seeing this today, I was suddenly transported back to that time. Mega Fashion Hall's Christmas decor is definitely at par with the ones in HKG.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

D' Kids are growing up

It feels just like yesterday when they were wee little babies that we'd carry and pass around.

Now, they're gregarious kids who run around, make friends with other kids in the restaurant, and - best of all - prepare a Happy Birthday dance for me as a gift. They even have an official title for it - "Flying Hearts."

They're growing up to be really great kids.

Saturday, November 07, 2015

In the pink

I've been so used to the white covers of InStyle magazine that this month's issue caught me off guard.

For a moment there, I thought it was one of those special editions, like Makeover, Hair or Wedding. After all, those editions often use colored background for their covers. But as far as I remember, InStyle always used white.

Until November 2015, of course.

It's actually a very rosy and refreshing take on the cover. And I like it. Plus, they have Drew Barrymore on the cover - the actress who has done the most covers for InStyle. Ever!

November really is a special month.

Friday, November 06, 2015

FMM: On the wall!

This photo taken during dinner is the inspiration for today's Friday Magic Madness song.

And we're not going too far back. This one is a song from the turn of millennium. From a duo who was so popular during that time.

Yup, it's a mirror song. A "Mirror, Mirror" song.

Reflective, ain't it?

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Throwback Throwbook

Last Saturday, I found this book while I was cleaning out my space in the faculty room.

I remember this book vividly. This was the year when I went back to teaching, and the subject I handled was Principles of Mass Communication.

The assignment was to creatively report on the different eras of communication in Philippine History. This was the report of the group assigned to the Spanish era, and they did a Dora the Explorer skit which I found both entertaining and informative.

One of the members of this group - Andy - is now in the same industry where I'm in. That's why we sometimes bump into each other during industry events.

It's always gratifying to look back at where your former students started, and see how far they've gone.

And in this case, they all started with this book.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

A chip on my shoulder

From one chocolate to another.

I just saw the big news on the net that Lay's is launching this awesome new product!

Lay's Potato Chips. Chocolate.

Sign me up!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Proceed with Cosio

The first time I tried Cocio was when I was in Europe sometime in 2004. It was quite a common sight in supermarkets, and it was so rich and creamy that I got hooked.

Eventually, some specialty supermarkets started carrying it here in Manila. But it was quite difficult to find, and its supermarket appearances were few and far between.

That's why it's a thrill to finally see it distributed more extensively here. I've seen it in most supermarkets, and I even found it in Family Mart!

Now I've got a new chocolate drink in rotation.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Mine, o Minecraft

Found these two Minecraft stuffed toys - pig and bison - and immediately bought them as a surprise for Javier.

Needless to say, he was thrilled to get these two toys. In fact, he excitedly said "I love you," after I gave him the toys.

Yup, it was a good decision to buy them.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Finally, Kitty

There must've been a delay in Hello Kitty's flight.

Remember the Hello Kitty Happy Meal toys that I collected last April? The ones that Mark and I scrounged around for in Tokyo? They just arrived in Manila this week!

Better late than never, as they would always say.