Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Any Shoes Day

Hashtag on Tuesdays is AnyShoesDay 

Here's my take on the kinds of shoes that would send me to shoe heaven. If money were no object and if I were not on retail rehab, I'd go for these pairs. All from net-a-porter.

Brian Atwood (USD 1082)

Lace Covered Dolce & Gabbana (USD 965)

Jimmy Choo (USD 591)

Jimmy Choo (USD 724)

Lanvin (USD 682)

Miu Miu (USD 657)

Miu Miu (USD 824)

Oscar de la Renta (USD 616)

Pedro Garcia (USD 516)

Red Valentino (USD 466)

Robert Clergerie (USD 549)

Tory Burch (USD 166)

Valentino (USD 723)

Happy feet!



The Landmark

The Landmark to me has always been just a link from Greenbelt to Glorietta. I've passed many times. I've checked out its wares but only on the floor where I can easily exit to my intended destination.

I must confess, I don't like to shop at The Landmark. Yes, the price point is easy on the budget. But service-wise, it's so backward. It's as slow as the pace of a snail on a bad day. So, I made a decision not to put my temper to the test. 

But last night, I had an epiphany. What if the upper floors hold some treasures that I would have not thought possible to be just waiting to be discovered? Off I went up to the fourth level where the home and children's department are located. Lately, I've been obsessed with plants, planters, pots, tea pots, pretty jars and cake stands.  

The recent renovation made the place look bright, modern and spacious. 
Glass Jars galore! All sizes.

Obviously, the counter sign isn't part of its renovation efforts :-)

Ok, these are plastic plants but you get the picture.

Rows and rows of synthetic plants arranged in attractive jars/pots. A wide selection of empty pots can be found in one section. The quality of the pots is surprisingly excellent -- nice quality glazed pots in varying colors, no uneven surface and chipped parts. 

Although personally, am more interested with real, live plants -- to some whom synthetic plants seem more practical in terms of care and attention, then this is definitely, a haven.

Am going to go back tomorrow to linger at each interesting piece on display at a price that will not burn a hole in the pocket. See it for yourself, too.

The Landmark
Ayala Center
Makati Avenue, Makati City



Monday, April 29, 2013

Bonus Madness

'Tis the season: Mid-year, 14th month, bonus. Call it what you like. For the majority of corporate slaves, May is the month when our ears are ringing. 

In the company where I work, ours is given slightly ahead of everyone else. We received ours last Friday. In the previous years of my employment, this would have been the time when I spend my waking hours at the mall... buying to my heart's content. Or until my money runs out.

Interestingly, I've made it through the weekend without any major purchases. I consider it an achievement. ha ha. A few years back, I was given a sendoff gift in the form of a magazine that headlines 'Huwag waldasin ang bonus,' I think they've labeled me as a shopaholic. Back then, it might be true. 

Now, I'd like to consider myself more mature in dealing with my finances. I've made terrible money mistakes in the past. Credit card bills caught up with me. I paid them off but at a price. 

I've devised a simple formula that I try to follow whenever I receive a huge amount especially coming from bonuses: 

Income (Bonus) - Tithing (10%) - Savings (20%) - Payable = Spend

It's good that we're prepared for the rainy days. And you feel secured when you know that your obligations do not exceed your income potential. I've smarted for a number of years paying off my credit card debts. Believe me it causes more than just a headache. 

Right now, am smarter. I pay for purchases in cash. If I don't have cash, I can't afford it. If I have online purchases, I ensure that the amount can be paid off in full when the bill arrives. No excuses.

So, yes enjoy the fruits of your labor. But please don't go overboard.



Thursday, April 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday

Looking back through pictures -- throwback Thursdays. On Instagram, it is a staple on Thursdays. Some elicit wistful sighs, others just make you smile. All of them evoke a certain memory, a story and draws the road journeyed through the years. 

I combed through some photos of me through the years and am taken on a flashback of my passage from the seemingly naive, prominent decolletage, horizontal progress and all. So let me take you through them. 


From then on, I've never looked back. Only on days when I have terrible, terrible longings for the good old days especially when I want to fit in the clothes that I like. And when am seized by the scary thought of all the ailments associated with obesity -- high blood pressure, diabetes, among other dreaded diseases.

What have I been doing to live a healthier lifestyle? I try to exercise at least once a week. The ideal is 3x per week. But at least am getting there. Am also on the path of healthy diet -- I cook my own food, very little oil on a dish and more fresh vegetables. I also took serious note of my doctor's prescription to manage my hypothyroidism. 

I may not be able to go back to my skinny self but I hope that this year will see me shedding at least 10 pounds. 

How about you? Do you struggle with weight also? What have you been doing? I hope you can share in the comments below. 

My goal is to create a small community of weight watchers. Thanks!



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pocket Garden in the Big City

I grew up in a lush green environment surrounded by patches of leafy vegetables and flowering plants. I remember our front yard covered with bermuda grass. Back then, my mom was very passionate about her flowers. 

Now that I live in the big city, am obsessed with trees and greenery. Let's face it, Manila is a big concrete jungle. Don't get me wrong, I love being an Urbanista. I like the pace, the lifestyle and the workplace. 

But whenever I find myself wanting some peace and quiet, I long for the good old days. I wish that am surrounded by plants so I can meditate, enjoy a good read or just space out with a steaming cup of coffee during rainy days. 

In between the years of my adult life, I discovered that I don't have the green thumb of my parents. I've watched my cacti plants die a natural death several times over; the memory still pains me. I even tried the hybrid types to no avail. 

However the desire to have some green in the house didn't wane. Then summer came. The sweltering heat is just unbearable. I read somewhere that indoor plants help clean the air and give off oxygen so that the house becomes cooler when the weather is hot and humid. 

Last Sunday, we accompanied our friend Bonna to the Manila Seedling Bank in Quezon Ave. We've been meaning to check out the place but we never seem to find the time. So her trip there was in perfect timing. 

We have a tiny balcony that can be brightened up with a few potted friends. With that in mind, we bought some with the advise of the garden vendors at Manila Seedling Bank. 

Went home with these.
This spot is bare no more.
This shrub cost us P75
This blooming orchid cost P75. We bought two. This one here is in the bathroom.
We also bought a cactus at P25. I feel sorry I wasn't able to buy more of it. And then those gorgeous hanging plants. Luckily, we have some palmeras (P150 each) that I've been eyeing for quite some time. 

If you're looking for some house plants, the Manila Seedling Bank is a good place to start. It has the widest selection of flora and fauna. The prices are very pocket friendly, too. Just a small note though, visit it either early in the morning or after the mid-day sun. It can get so, so hot! I was sweating buckets when we were there. No kidding. 

Will definitely go back for more cacti, hanging plants and some herbs. By the way, you can bring your own pots or buy it there so your plants are transferred/re-planted . By the time you're home, your plants are ready to be displayed. 

Indulge me as I dream to have this as my pocket garden.Someday.
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Build your own pocket garden, now. You don't just prettify your place, you also help the environment. Do your share. Make Manila green again. Or your city, for that matter.



Friday, April 19, 2013

Summer Reads

When you can't travel: read. It's the next best thing, in my opinion.

A few years ago, I bought this book at Fully Booked. It also got me started on my travel bucket list.

I want to see Maldives. Prague. Italy. Batanes. Greece. And more.

I also just discovered the joy of cooking. I want to find inspiration in this.

Here's this young adult fiction that I've heard about and that I want to take with me to the beach.

As a parting shot to summer, I'd like to sit down with my favorite java and read about the success story of Starbucks.

What's on your reading list? Please share in the comments below.



Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hanging out at Daddy Ike's

Nothing stays permanent. Truer in the corporate world. People leave. They transition out. 

How do you cultivate then friendship beyond the borders of the corporate walls? Well, thank God for technology and social media, communicating has never been better. You get to see what each has been up to...comment on how good they look, how fab their vacations and how grand their life is outside of your common ground -- the office.

And then you socialize when schedule permits. Nothing beats a person-to-person encounter. And we try to do this once in a while. And always our point of convergence is this white house in Alabang Hills --Daddy Ike's home.

The coolest private bar ever is found in his house! And it has seen us binge-eat, get drunk and the occasional "blind dates". It gives us a chance to re-connect with friends and even get to talk with the ones who stayed but we don't have matrix relationship so we don't really talk often or see each other in meetings. 
Framed movie posters.

Mr Ike's collection of tumblers & mugs from all over the world. Adjacent to this cupboard is his collection of beers from the world over.
Let's play!

This is fun.
In 2007, I met these chic, cool and fun people when I moved to the Head Office. This barrio girl has just ticked off an item in her bucket list -- work in Makati! Don't laugh. Where I come from Manila (Makati, actually) is a distant dream. Am literally almost 2,000 kilometers far from the country's capital. Having said that, you can just imagine my exhilaration mixed with apprehension. After all, the barrio girl gets to live already in the big city.

With my association with these people, my social life saw the light of day. 

 Me and the always-beautiful-never-gets-old Uchie having a good time. 
If the ball that drops is your color, you drink a shot!
 These were in 2012.


Food, booze, game and endless chats. Happy. 

 Until the next hang out. 



Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Tale of the Two Night Stands

Thank you, Chuvaness!

Five nights ago, I saw a thread on Twitter when Chuvaness (Cecil Van Straten) posed a question to someone about what furniture he needed. It spawned a reply from everyone. I noted that these were not the usual people she usually exchange tweets with. 

I bravely joined the convo and was rewarded with a reply. When followers were asking for sofas, I asked for the most unlikely -- night stands. I've been meaning to buy one or two. 

You see I love to read both paper and electronic books. I used to stack them on the floor. Then, I needed to buy stackable plastic boxes for my other knick-knacks. It became my quasi-permanent night stand where my books, magazines, iPad, iPhone, chargers, hand creams cram on top. It has become a long and tedious process when I need to open the boxes. Ugly, too.

It started with a tweet, followed by an email exchange and then the actual pick-up. Last weekend, off we went to her house. I was so nervous. Ha ha ha. I kept imagining how or what my disposition should be when I see the lady of the house, if she's there. Unfortunately, we learned that she was out. 

One of the helps were outside the house; we asked if there was anything (a night stand) for Sheng Arreglo.Off she went inside to ask as she doesn't know. While she was inside, my mind was whirling with what ifs... what if Chuvaness was just kidding or that she forgot. Ha ha ha. First time, eh

A few minutes later, we had two sleek night stands! An instruction came it. Remove the drawers first so the table will fit in the trunk. One table did get fit in the trunk but the other one we put inside.

Now, I have these two black night stands with drawers! Form and function combined. The drawers are wide and deep enough for all of my small items that I feel are absolutely necessary to be at arm's length. Nice and tidy.
Will post a better picture soon. (It took us until night time to figure out how to arrange our small studio.)
After seeing how neat my bedside has become, I realized that I would now have a place for a night lamp. And I can read to my heart's content without subjecting my eyes to semi-darkness. 

Yay, for generous souls! I've joined so many promos by Chuvaness and I've never won. But this one tops it... until her next giveaway. He he he.

Again, thank you Ms Cecile. 


Happy birthday, Erika!

Sissy, it's your birthday today. I thought of putting together a pic collage but you already do that. I was thinking of doing something really special like say a crafty birthday card but you know that I have no talent in that department. 

I thought of writing you a really sweet Facebook shoutout. But it dawned on me that you deserve a whole blog page not just a cheesy shoutout. 

Allow me to rattle thirty six things about you. Not to be construed as your age, I just thought it's cool to write as many as 36. 

1. You're a beautiful person, inside and out. 
2. You're a cool mother to three beautiful and talented kids. 
3. You have the tenacity of a monk -- you work hard for your kids, you are in the forefront of all of their milestones. 
4. You're a good provider -- love, shelter.
5. You love your kids in equal measures.
6. You have the gift of an artist -- your hand strokes create beautiful faces.
7. You can whip healthy dishes. Healthy delivery, anyone?
8. You're generous with your time, talent and resources. 
9. You have the ability to smile at whatever life throws you. 
10. You cry at a moment's notice. 
11. You're feisty yet restrained. 
12. You're crazy about selfies. 
13. You're gullible when it comes to my deadpan announcements. 
14. You're a resourceful woman. 
15. You have no mean bone in your body. 
16. You're a wonderful daughter. Your mom left you a good legacy.
17. You're extremely patient. Not only with your kids.
18. You're nuts about TV shows like American Idol.
19. You're opinionated when it comes to singer wannabes.
20. You're the perfect roommate.
21. You read as much as you watch television.
22. You're a good listener.
23. You feed on life experiences.
24. You're always on the look out for good deals in groupons.
25. You don't eat rice but you like sweets.
26. You're scared of driving but you braved it.
27. You're calm even if we almost hit an old man.
28. You're crazy about the help being always on Facebook. You want CCTV at home.
29. You're candid about Chyna's suitor but deep inside you're scared.
30. You pray hard that your children grow up God fearing and successful.
31. You want to go back to the theater but it can't feed you so you don't.
32. You forget a lot of things but not the people who matter.
33. You love breakfast buffets.
34. Wine and cheese, anytime.
35. You are an awesome friend.
36. You are a child of God.

Have a wonderful year, my friend. My prayer is for you to continue to enjoy your fellowship with God. And I wish that the floodgates of the heavens open up and shower you all the blessings that your heart desire. 

Thank you for making me beautiful on my wedding day! I can't thank you enough. Thank you for the gift of friendship. Know that you have a friend in us (Tyrone and me) for life.

When you hit a bump on the road, be assured that we will cheer you on. Hugs and kisses to Dallas who share a special bond with you -- mother and son celebrating the same special day. That is so awesome.