Sunday, July 31, 2016

Caught red handed!

The cookie and snack makers in the U.S. must've known I was coming.

After all, I'm a huge fan of anything red velvet. And when I got there, these 3 products were available:

Red Velvet galore!

Hostess' Red Velvet cupcakes have been there for a while. In fact, Fiesta was able to get me a box the last time she went to NYC.

Red Velvet Oreos - this one is relatively new. But I've seen it on the Target website, so it was really on my radar.

But Red Velvet Chips Ahoy, now that's really, really new. In fact, they just launched it during the week I arrived. How lucky is that!

I'm red-dy to snack on all these!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Get dressed

Because my MNL to ATL flight was a total of 22 hours, you can just imagine the amount of inflight films I devoured.  Fortunately, the plane had an awesome selection of entertainment options.

In the plethora of films available, I discovered this fashionable gem:

"The Dressmaker" is a period film set in Australia. Having no knowledge of the film, I also had no expectations. But by the time the credits rolled, I was just in awe!

The film was superb. The acting, flawless. And the ending was so unexpected, it blew my socks off.

I'm going to look for a DVD of this and ask my students to watch it.

Friday, July 29, 2016

FMM: Bridging generations

The great thing about hanging out with my niece and nephew in the U.S. is finding out more about them. One thing I learned about Kai is that she has great taste in music.

During one of our drives, she played this song from 1991. It's from Red Hot Chili Peppers, and is one of my favorite songs:

After listening to the song, I asked her whether she's familiar with the other version of the song.

Yup, there's a remake. It was done in 1997 by the all-girl British group, All Saints. (aka the anti-Spice Girls.)

I actually like both versions, and can listen to them on repeat.

Apparently, Kai doesn't know this other version. So technically, she learned something new from me. Just like I learned something new about her.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sketchy Stories: Purple Reign

Last January, my nephew got engaged and announced that he was getting married in Atlanta in July.


Especially since he's the first from his generation to get married. Plus his Mom - Ate Lissa - is my Ate.

So, when Ate Lissa asked me what she should wear to the wedding, I knew I had to come up with something uber special.

Ate had a few guidelines:
- The color had to be purple
- She didn't want anything too form fitting
- It was a summer wedding

First, I went to "the stash" to check if I had purple fabric. Thankfully, there were a few yards of embroidered lace which I was supposed to use for Kai's party a few years back. After examining it, and taking the guidelines into consideration, this was the chicken scratch I came up with:

It was a sheath silhouette with a blouson top. The back was fully open to let the air in. The skirt had inserts, and the accent was a thin belt with gemstones.

Ate liked the design, particularly how the top was a blouson-type of top. She said that it will allow her to eat and she won't be conscious about her mid-section. (What mid-section?)

So, it was off to our trusted dressmaker to have the sketch brought to life. And as expected, she did a wonderful job with it.

Ate said that the moment she wore the dress, the make-up artist told her how lovely it was and how she looked in it.

Jen's aunt said that Ate looked like a gorgeous 25-year old.

And that was just one of the many praises that Ate received that evening.

(Then, there's Mom's dress. But that's another story.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Philippine (and Italian-American) contingent

"I'm impressed at how you all flew in for the wedding. Your family is very close."

That's what Jen's aunt told me after finding out that family members from Manila and California flew in to Georgia to attend the wedding.

While the Philippine contingent was small, we definitely were the most gregarious of the bunch. Add Lou (Jul's Italian-American father figure) into the mix, and it was definitely a happy and noisy table.

I'm so glad I flew in for this wedding.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

Sweet cherry pie!

Before I flew back to Manila, I made sure to eat as many things on my wishlist as I possibly could.

And this was one item on the list:

Cherry Pie from Little Debbies! This is so divine!

I also bought the classic Hostess Cherry Pie. But that was so good, I ate it before I could even take a snap.

Treats like these made my short visit (and the many pounds I've gained) so much worthwhile.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Raise the red (white, blue and yellow) flag!

Here's one gesture that made us smile during the wedding.

The bride's family placed the flags of the U.S. and the Philippines together as part of the centerpieces. Stephen - the bride's Dad - said that it symbolizes how our families from both sides of the world are now united as one in marriage.

Such a nice family!

Saturday, July 23, 2016


Presenting the reason why I went on a short and sweet trip to Atlanta.

My eldest nephew, Jul, got married to the love of his life, Jen.

It was a beautiful ceremony that left a lot of the people in Rose Hall teary eyed. Including us. Gosh, someone must've been peeling onions in the vicinity.

Congratulations, Jul and Jen! I'm elated to have been part of your special day, and we look forward to seeing you again (and our new grandchildren) soon.

Friday, July 22, 2016

FMM: Oh, Carolina!

Yesterday, I was able to check out this exhibit at the Savannah College of Arts and Design:

Needless to say, it inspired today's Friday Magic Madness song.

This song was huge in the 90s, and almost everyone danced to it.

But apart from the name, these 2 Carolinas have no similarity whatsoever.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

We meet again Panda...

Panda Express that is.

It's still yummy as always. Orange Chicken rocks!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Right on Target!

I must say, there's a certain thrill whenever I realize that Target is just a few minutes away from where I am.

Before, I used to just browse their websites, especially when there are designer collaborations. I'd have to coordinate with my Mom and brother in the U.S. to either buy them or have what I bought on-line shipped to them.

Now, I can just hop over and check out items myself. (Too bad there's no notable collaboration, though.)

I'll be seeing you a few more times before I go back home, Target.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mello touch

Mello Yello was one of my favorite drinks as a kid. Too bad that they discontinued it in the Philippines.

Gladly, it's still very much available in the U.S.!

Time to Mello out.

P.S. I can still remember their jingle up to now:

 Mello Yello makes you feel so good, so fast

From your head down to your toe.
Mello Yello makes you feel so good, so fast
You can't just drink it slow!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Oreo Go!

While a lot of people are preoccupied looking for Pokemon, I was preoccupied looking for these:

Oreo in different flavors!

Had to go to 2 supermarkets to get this haul. And just like fans of the Pokemon Go game, I also have to look for and get some more.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sunday Specials

Mass today was very special.

It's been around 6 months since we the 5 of us got to hear mass together. And now we're together, in St. Bridget's Church in Atlanta!

This is a special mass indeed.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Do it in Doha

So, it's my first time in Doha International Airport, and I must say that it's pretty impressive. It reminds me of Chek Lap Kok in HKG, but with the glamour factor upped a few notches.

What I like about it is that the entire airport is peppered with installation art. The main one being this teddy bear sculpture that's both imposing and a bit eerie. Hahaha.

Since I had a few hours before my connecting flight, I roamed around the airport to find things to do. First on the agenda - look for snackers!

I found this store called Marmalade, and they sold gourmet French cookies. And they were uber delicious! Particularly the toffee and raspberry-filled cookies.

Then, I checked out the duty free stores. That's where I found this oldie-but-goody-blast-from-the-past!

Yes, Jovan Musk is still pretty much there!

I think I was only able to see 1/4 of the whole airport. So I'll make it a point to explore the other parts on my way back to Manila.

Friday, July 15, 2016

FMM: Mind set

First half of the trip is done!

One more plane ride and not only will Georgia be on my mind, it'll be within my sights, too.

This classic Ray Charles ditty pretty much sums up this Friday Magic Madness feeling.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

In it for the long haul

After a few years, I'm taking a long haul flight again.

And I do mean long haul - more than 20 hours including stops.

That's why I chose an airline that has a good inflight entertainment system. It's the best time to catch the films I've missed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Material world: Flight of fancy

It's been a while since I passed by Fabric Warehouse. After all, there's always Divisoria for fabrics.

But just for the heck of it, I dropped by today.

I'm glad I did because I discovered this beauty!

This material is gorgeous! It's a textured and patterned wool that looks like feathers from afar.

Now, my imagination is flying as to what to create with this.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dog-gone it!

Every Monday, I usually clear my desktop and review the files in the folders. And as I was reviewing yesterday, I found this old, adorbz photo of one of the talents we used for a commercial:

Yes, the talent was a dog. A very expensive Chow-Chow.

And here's his commercial debut!

Doggone it! He's a cute one!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

LFLTAT: Of skirts and off shoulders

 If you drop by Greenhills and H&M on the same day, chances are, you can whip up a "Look for Less Than A Thousand."

First of all, the Greenhills tiangge just reopened, so you can expect to see a lot of new stuff at the same old low prices. Then, H&M just further marked down their items, so you can expect a lot of their chic items on the cheap.

And this delightful discount duo helped me come up with these 2 outfits for the Ates.

Outfit # 1: Orange you glad it's just P950?

Yup, that's the total cost of this look. The top is from Greenhills, and it's this pretty off shoulder blouse in a bright orange hue.

To match it, I found this H&M skirt with a bright orange print against a muted blue background. And the combination is refreshingly stylish.

Outfit # 2: Don't feel blue, it's only P750!

Yup, it's that cheap! From the same shop where I got the orange one, this off shoulder top comes in a navy blue color.

To match it, I found this electric pleated lace skirt, also in blue. It was the perfect match!

I'd say this Sunday was well (and cheaply) spent.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Suki's Surprise

This morning, I dropped by Divisoria to buy some more of the printed fabric that I got 2 weeks ago. It was this white fabric with red poppies, and the design was so graphic that it was uber cool.

Arriving at the fabric store, I started looking for it. After a few rounds, I realized that it was nowhere to be found. Then, the manong who usually cuts my fabrics appears, so I ask him about the design I was looking for.

MANONG: Naku, Sir, ubos na ho. May bumili ng wholesale.
ME: Ah, okay. No problem po.

While walking towards the exit, the owner greets me:

OWNER: O suki! Anong binili mo ngayon.
ME: Bibili po dapat ako nung printed fabric na binili ko the last time, pero ubos na daw.
OWNER: Talaga? Sinong nagsabi?
ME: Si Manong po. (Pointing to Manong.)

What she did after surprised me:

OWNER: Nasaan na 'yung hinahanap ni suki?
MANONG: Naka-kahon na po, ayun. (Points to a sealed box.)
OWNER: Naku, buksan mo 'yan, bigyan mo si suki kung ilan ang kailangan niya.
ME: No, okay lang po.
OWNER: Naku hindi. Kung gusto mo nung telang 'yon, ibibigay ko sa'yo.

And with that, I went home with a few more yards of this fabric:

Being a suki has its privileges.

Friday, July 08, 2016

FMM: Weather you like it or not

This 90s song pretty much sums up the feeling this Friday.

It looks like it's going to be a very cool and wet weekend.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Reserve a table for me

Oh look, there's an Anna Kendrick wedding comedy that's coming up next year.

"Table 19" looks very promising. Aside from Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow is there, too.

Can't wait to see this!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016


Today is the Eid ul Fitr holiday! And it's the first holiday under the Duterte administration.

Despite that, we have work this afternoon.

Oh well, that's advertising.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Food For(bes) Thought

One of the websites I check on a regular basis is

What I like about them is that before you get to the site, they greet you with a "quote of the day." And today's quote was particularly interesting.

True. Very, very true.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Roar of the Lyonnes

One of the more talked about series (aside from Game of Thrones) that people are always on the lookout for is "Orange is the New Black."

Admittedly, I haven't caught an episode of it yet. But as I was browsing through the trailer, a familiar face caught my eye.

Natasha Lyonne is part of the cast!

I haven't seen her in ages. Heck, I haven't seen her since "American Pie." But hey, I'm glad to see her - even in the small screen.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Shake it on a Sunday

Another famous food brand from New York has landed in Tokyo.

And yes, we just had to check it out.

This icon of a fast casual restaurant is the East Coast equivalent to West Coast's In N' Out burger. It's one of those places in the U.S. where people line up for hours just to sample their signature burger and shakes.

Apparently, people line up for it in Tokyo, too. Thankfully, it didn't take us hours to order and get a seat.

Mark ordered the Shackburger with a half and half, while I opted for the Shroomburger with a strawberry milkshake. Then, we ordered french fries to share. Good thing I took a photo of it before we started eating because the whole thing was devoured in minutes!

Shake Shack on a Sunday was definitely a stellar sojourn!

Saturday, July 02, 2016


When your breakfast looks like this... know you're in Tokyo.


Friday, July 01, 2016

FMM: Labelle of the ball

An easy and chill Friday morning needs a voice that's equally easy and chill.

Time to bring out Patti Labelle!

While Celine Dion's version is better known, I think Patti Labelle's rendition is better sang.