31 December 2013

2013, a year worth remembering!

In a few hours, 2013 will come to a close and we'll usher in the new year.  I think it's an opportune time to be thankful for the blessings that God has brought in 2013.  Here are a few things I am thankful for both big and small this year:
  • The birth of www.tinavilla.com 
  • A kind, smart, funny, loving and supportive husband
  • A supportive family 
  • A group of fun-loving and supportive friends who are foodies too
  • Having a dog that's actually funny without even trying 
  • A reliable 16-year old car that takes us all over the country and hasn't broken down (yet) 
  • Travelling to places that I love: Boracay, Subic and Tagaytay 
  • Learning to paddle board 
  • God proving to us that He is faithful to His promises 
  • Being able to give back 
  • Reading the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star and finding that I'm in it (In a good way,  Haha!) 
  • Crossing off items from our home wish list: purchasing our Klippan sofa from Ikea and our Prizmic & Brill work desk and chair
  • Reuniting with old friends 
  • Making new friends 
  • Receiving an e-mail from GQ.com asking me if they can use one of my photos for an article they are writing (awesome!)
  • Collaborating with brands: Nestle, Bounty Fresh, Fruits in Bloom, Fifth Season Spa, Toccare Spa and Pevonia
  • Readers from around the world who rock! 

It has been four wonderful years! (read about it here)


28 December 2013

Finding the perfect tablet case

I was so happy when I finally got my new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 from Globe's loyalty program.  My old Blackberry was slowly showing signs of dying.  Parts of the rubber casing were slowly peeling off and I have to admit, it was a bit embarrassing to use it in public with it's internal parts showing.  Haha!
It took a couple of weeks before I was finally able to use my new Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 since I wanted to look for a pretty tablet case to protect my new phone before using it.  While going around the stores, I realized that it was quite difficult to find a case for a non-Apple brand.  Let's face it, most brands carry tablet cases made only for the Ipad.  
I found a pretty tablet case in Kate Spade, it was made of coated poplin and had the drive-in movie theatre marquee as it's design, but it was made for the Ipad.  So, I said to myself, I'll just get this. 


26 December 2013

Our Special Christmas Dinner at Chatteau 1771, Greenbelt 5

I'm pretty sure you're all winding down from all the shopping, parties, reunions and Christmas festivities just like me and Mickey (although there still are a few more before the New Year for us).

Just before the 24th of December, we were able to start a yearly tradition for both of us - having our very own Christmas dinner somewhere special .

It was quite a challenge looking for a special place where good food is served, where service and standards could be comparable to that of a 5-star hotel (for this special dinner, we didn't want it to be in a hotel because we knew that the hotel restaurants may be full with all the Christmas dinners with friends and families), we wanted a place where we also won't feel we have to hurry and finish dinner because the place is heavily booked and most especially, where we can talk all through out dinner and just enjoy each others company.

So finally, after much thinking, we decided to have our special Christmas Dinner this year at a restaurant where we also had celebrated many special occasions and milestones in our lives (whether big or small).

Of course, we come back to our all time favorite, Chatteau 1771 in Greenbelt 5.  The charm of the place has never left.  I love the restaurant's high ceilings, floor to ceiling glass windows, well-spaced dining area and the service of course is still at it's best.


21 December 2013

Prizmic & Brill's Kipling Desk and Campaign Chair

I can clearly remember the first time I saw the Kipling desk at Prizmic & Brill's Greenbelt 5 store.  I was sitting on the Campaign chair that was paired with the desk and admiring the craftsmanship of the desk.  I was completely in awe of it. The Campaign chair that was matched with it was also made of mahogany wood, leather, had nickel fittings and matched the folding legs of the desk.


18 December 2013

Shelter + GIGI Coffee and Cupcakes

I knew just by looking at the design aesthetic of Shelter that this is my kind of store.

Shelter is a home and design store at the newly opened East Wing of Shangri-la Mall.  Inside, you'll find well curated finds for the home such as designer throw pillows, luxury home fragrances, designer notebooks and note cards, hardcover design books, black and white framed photos, custom-made furniture and beautiful things for the person who loves to entertain. 


12 December 2013

Of blessings and an impromptu reunion

I got excited when I received a message from my college barkada Rhia last week.  She invited me and Mickey and our Assumption College group to celebrate and have lunch with her and her family at their new condo. in Ortigas.   

Apart from the joy that all our Manila-based AC friends are complete and would be having an impromptu reunion before the year ends together with the hubbies and the kiddos, I also couldn't wait to see her new space!

The gang (left to right):  Rhia, Bambi, Len and Me


06 December 2013

Makati's Festive Christmas lights

The other day, Mickey and I were reminiscing about the time when buildings in Makati used to have really nice decorations at Christmas time.  I remember that there was a contest and awards were given to buildings which were beautifully adorned.

Last night, our car was number-coding and I had to wait for Mickey to pick me up at the office.  As I looked down the brightly lit streets of Ayala Avenue and Makati Avenue (which is adorned with colorful Christmas lights at this time of the year), I thought to myself, I'd  go down and get myself a cup of hot chocolate at Starbucks and bring my camera with me just in case I'd catch anything interesting.

As I walked down Makati Avenue, I saw PLDT building's white Christmas display of snowflakes and giant Christmas balls.  How nice that even without a contest, they decided to bring Christmas cheer to everyone.  It looked so nice at night.


03 December 2013

Kai, Greenbelt 5

How fast time flies, it's already December!

This festive season usually brings forth a lot of parties and reunions, just recently I had the chance to meet up with my good friend Gen, a former colleague of mine from an American company we both used to work for.  It must have been almost a year since we last saw each other, a lot has happened in between and finally we now have time to catch up.  

We were supposed to have lunch at Lusso in Greenbelt 5, but that day, the indoor dining area was reserved for a big group lunch (I guess reunions, too).  So I called Gen and I asked her if we can have lunch instead at Kai which is just a few cartwheels away.  Good thing she said yes.  Kai is one of my favorite restaurants in Greenbelt 5 that serves contemporary Japanese cuisine, it is perfect for a small group reunion or even for just two people.  Their tables are spaced out far in between so you can have conversations without worrying that the other table already knows your life story.  


29 November 2013

Finally, H&M in Manila!

But first, let's get to know the Swedish fashion brand a bit more.  H&M first opened in Västerås, Sweden in 1947.  Currently, H&M is the world's second largest fashion retailer with 3,000 stores spread across 53 markets worldwide.

The H&M Group offers fashion from the H&M, COS, Monki, Weekday, Cheap Monday and & Other Stories  brands, along with home interiors at H&M Home.

Here's a glimpse of H&M's current holiday collection:


28 November 2013

Pevonia's Dry Oil Moisturizer

Let me tell you about a new beauty product that I have tried recently - It’s a dry oil moisturizer from elite spa brand, Pevonia!  How does it work?  After taking a shower, just spray the dry oil moisturizer all over your body and massage until it is absorbed.  Unlike heavy and creamy lotions that usually just sit on your skin and take forever to absorb, the dry oil moisturizer is quick absorbing, non-greasy and reveals a matte finish that leaves skin soft and smooth.  
Pevonia’s dry oil moisturizer is also floral scented.  When I first tried this product, Mickey commented that it smelled good on me.  I love its fresh, clean scent and the fact that I can use this product and not wear any other fragrance on a casual day.  Before sleeping at night, this product is also a dream to use, I can jump into bed without having to worry that it will leave oily stains on the sheets! 

With the weather getting a bit colder this Christmas season (and even during the summer months when it's very dry), the dry oil moisturizer provides nourishment for dry skin caused by sudden weather changes or even extreme weather conditions. 


25 November 2013

Fruits in Bloom

Last Saturday, Mickey and I have started doing our annual closet, cupboards, shoe and storage editing (read: major general cleaning).  I think I may have overestimated the gargantuan task of it all.  It took quite some time to determine which ones we really needed to keep.  Living in a condo has many challenges and one of them is space, but I think more than that, what is important for us now is more room to breathe and move around in.  We had boxes labelled to give away/for donation and others to throw out.

At mid-morning, we were feeling a bit hungry as we both just had cereal and orange juice for breakfast .  It was great timing when the lobby receptionist called us and said that there is a delivery from Fruits in Bloom.


16 November 2013


Watching the news this week was heart wrenching.  Every time I turn on the TV, the screen was filled with images of widespread devastation left by Typhoon Yolanda.  Members of families desperately looking for lost loved ones, survivors going on for days without food, water or medicine, losing their homes and staying in the streets without protection from the heat and the rain.

For many of us, who were not affected, we can do our share in helping the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in many ways.  One of them is by joining The Picture Company's #SmilesForRelief Project.  For just a Php 500 donation and 10 minutes of your time for a photo shoot to give a smile for relief to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda, you can provide a food pack, a hygiene kit and medicines to 3 families.

I stopped by The Picture Company's Greenbelt 5 branch for a 10-minute #SmilesForRelief shoot with Issa Avendanio.  Thanks Issa!


11 November 2013

Found: Modern Needlepoint Pillows

Here's what I am loving now, needlepoint pillows!  I discovered these intricately embroidered pillows entirely by accident over the weekend.  What I like about these needlepoint pillows is that the designs are colorful and the threads used on each pillow are of the same color family, which makes mixing different patterns much easier.   


08 November 2013

Quick and easy to prepare Top Torikatsu by Bounty Fresh

First of all, thank you Bounty Fresh and Harrison Communications for sending us 5 packs of Top Torikatsu in Classic and Cheese & Chives to try!

Top Torikatsu by Bounty Fresh Chicken comes in two flavors, Classic which is topped with tasty mayonnaise and coated in golden crispy bread crumbs and Cheese & Chives.  Each 450g pack contains about 6 pieces of breaded torikatsu.

What I like about Top Torikatsu is that it's made of 100% pure chicken breast meat.  You can have it with either rice, pasta or even your salad. 


30 October 2013

Kenneth Cobonpue at Manila Fame

My fascination with Kenneth Cobonpue's furniture pieces started when he had several pieces displayed at Budji Layug's showroom in Makati.  For me, his furniture pieces are not only functional but they are also like beautiful pieces of art.  Recently, Kenneth Cobonpue had just opened his first showroom at The Greenbelt Residences in Makati and I'm pretty sure, Manila netizens are excited that they could easily access his designs now. 

Last year, I missed going to the Manila Fame event.  This year, I couldn't let it pass without stopping by even for just a few minutes.  I've always admired how good Filipinos are in making furniture and the Manila Fame event collectively features the best of Philippine made furniture.

The first booth you'll see as you enter Manila Fame is Kenneth Cobonpue's.  His Parchment collection is proudly displayed out front.  I love that the edges of this particular furniture line looks like the pages of a book.  I couldn't resist the urge to flip it. 


24 October 2013

Thank you Jen Casitas and Pevonia Philippines!

I got a lovely surprise last Tuesday!  Jen Casitas, PR Manager of Pevonia Philippines sent me this beautiful flower arrangement along with Pevonia skin care products to enjoy at home while I am recuperating.

Thank you Jen!  The flowers brighten up our space and I am excited to use the Pevonia products you sent me.  Thank you for your prayers, for your friendship and for making my day.  I can't wait to get back to 100% so we can catch up.  Hugs!   

check-out Pevonia's complete skin care line at www.pevonia.com.ph
To know more about Pevonia, follow them on facebook, twitter and instagram (pevoniaph). - See more at: http://www.tinavilla.com/2013/08/pevonia-botanica-ligne-tropicale-de.html#sthash.YakmOG53.dpuf
check-out Pevonia's complete skin care line at www.pevonia.com.ph
To know more about Pevonia, follow them on facebook, twitter and instagram (pevoniaph). - See more at: http://www.tinavilla.com/2013/08/pevonia-botanica-ligne-tropicale-de.html#sthash.YakmOG53.dpuf
check-out Pevonia's complete skin care line at www.pevonia.com.ph
To know more about Pevonia, follow them on facebook, twitter and instagram (pevoniaph). - See more at: http://www.tinavilla.com/2013/08/pevonia-botanica-ligne-tropicale-de.html#sthash.YakmOG53.dpuf

23 October 2013

Life Update: Ileus after surgery

After my recent surgery, I had two days spent at the house to recuperate, I thought that at last I am on the way to recovery.  However, on the 3rd day, after having lunch I was vomiting.  Mickey and I thought it may just be something that I ate.  After dinner, I  vomited again.  Mickey rushed me to the emergency room of The Medical City in Ortigas to have my condition checked.  I was placed on an IV to keep me hydrated, but when they started giving me oral medicines, I vomited again.  From the emergency room, I was transferred to the OB floor and the doctors there called my ob-gynecologist/gynecologic oncologist Dr. Edna Banta, to inform her of my condition.  I was later on advised that I would need to be admitted again as I had symptoms of Ileus (nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, bloating and lack of bowel movements and gas).  An Ileus is a blockage of intestines (also called the bowel). The Ileus prevents the movement of food, fluid and gas through the intestines.  The blockage is due to lack of movement of the intestinal muscles.  An Ileus may be caused by any type of surgery (I just had surgery 3 days ago), trauma, or pain medicines.

For two days, I wasn't given any regular food.  Nourishment and hydration would come from the IV's.  It seemed that on the third day of my hospitalization, I was getting better since I was no longer vomiting.  Just as Mickey was settling our hospital bill and after I was allowed to have a soft diet by my doctor, I was vomiting again.  I was told that I would need to be re-admitted again.  It was quite frustrating.


17 October 2013

Life Update: God versus Cancer

This morning, After taking a bath, I sat on the sofa and applied Dermatix Ultra to my fresh scar.  I was thinking, now is the perfect time to write about it and glorify God. 

My journey started last August 2013 when I had to undergo a D&C (Dilation and Curretage) procedure due to abnormal uterine bleeding (the bleeding had stopped after I had a D&C).  A week after the procedure, I had a follow-up appointment to see my ob-gynecologist/gynecologic oncologist for the diagnosis.  My doctor gave me the results from the pathologist - I had CIN3 with foci suspicious for microinvasion.  To confirm this, she advised that I had to undergo a colposcopy  (a magnified visual inspection of the cervix aided by using a dilute acetic acid solution to highlight abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix).

Mickey and I knew that time was of the essence, we scheduled the colposcopy that same weekend.  Before the colposcopy procedure, I was advised by my doctor that it would be best that Mickey would be also inside the room for moral support.  Mickey was called in by the nurse to join us.  He held my hand oftentimes stroking my hair to calm me during the procedure.  A small camera was built in to the probe and projected images to a monitor.  My doctor took a sample of the abnormal cells.  Mickey and I went back after 4 days for the results and my doctor told me that I had cervical cancer stage 1A (microinvasive).  It is cervical cancer at it's earliest stage.  My doctor told me not to be scared, and be thankful that we found out about it at it's early stage.  Microinvasive cancer stage 1A may be treated by doing TAH (Total Abdominal Hysterectomy or the removal of the cervix and the uterus).  We didn't waste any time and scheduled for my TAH procedure in mid-September.      

In this photo: Mickey joins me in my fight against cervical cancer and wears pink for me


13 September 2013

L'Indochine's First Private Shopping Party!

Several weeks ago, I got an invitation to L'Indochine's First Private Shopping Party.  I've been following L'Indochine's curators Charlene Panutat-Carlos and Leona Lavina-Panutat on Instagram @theinspirationseekers and have been seeing glimpses of their buying trips abroad.  It was quite exciting!  I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of their freshly picked merchandise in the store and finally, they're here!

Here are some snapshots at L'Indochine's First Private Shopping Party:

 Some sips enjoyed at the party


12 September 2013

Ikea products on sale at Mobler!

It's been a while since we visited Mobler, one of our favorite home stores that sells Ikea products.  Last Saturday, we had a free weekend so off we went to check out what's new at the store.  It was a pleasant surprise that they were on sale!  Mickey and I kept reminding each other that we will only buy what we need for the house.  In other words, to resist the urge to splurge!  Haha!  So, this is for you who may need to buy good home stuff at this time.  Let me show you what was on sale, all Ikea of course:

                                                                        Meatball sauce


05 September 2013

Toccare Spa

One of the many indulgences that I could never resist, is a trip to a spa.  When an invitation for a Wellness Spa Experience and Spa Cuisine at Toccare Spa arrived from Leah Dy, Vice President for Operations of Elohim Spa Solutions, Inc.  I got really excited!

Let me show you the place:

I love the mother of pearl wall installation at the reception of Toccare Spa.  It's so luxurious!


01 September 2013

A little bit of rock and roll: Mango Touch Ipad case

I've seen this Mango Touch Ipad case in Mango's Rockwell store a few weeks ago.  I was picking it up and putting it down, about three times.  I liked that it was a bit of rock and roll with the chain that was stitched on the sides of the Ipad case, and that it was a bit feminine with the quilted casing.  It was also a plus that they had it in black (so I don't have to stress out about getting it soiled or stained).

This weekend, I passed by the Mango Store in Eastwood Mall and found that they had the chain-trimmed Ipad case on sale!  From it's original price of (drumroll please!)....PHP 1,750.00 to just PHP 395.00!

Do you need a nifty new case for your Ipad?  Run! Don't walk! But please, don't stumble!  Haha!  You may still find this at the Mango stores.  They also have it in other colors such as papaya (peach) and water (mint).


31 August 2013

Easy, breezy cleaning with the Swiffer WetJet

For busy weekends, we like squeezing in some quick cleaning of the living space before the start of a new week.  An unscheduled shopping trip to the duty free stores in Subic two months ago led us to a cleaning tool that makes life a lot easy - the Swiffer WetJet.

The Swiffer WetJet is a stick mop with a floor cleaning solution attached to the pole and a disposable cleaning pad at the base making it an essential cleaning tool, especially if you do not have the luxury of time.

The starter kit comes in a small box that needs a bit of assembly, but what I like about the Swiffer WetJet is that it eliminates the need for a mop and bucket of water and can easily be stowed away when you're done cleaning.


21 August 2013

A call to share God's blessings after Typhoon Maring

Last Sunday, Mickey kept looking outside the window.  It had been raining incessantly for several hours already and he told me "two hours more, if it still rains as hard as this, the effect may be the same as last year's monsoon rains". 

Two days after, the weather hasn't changed.


20 August 2013

Mandatory Staycation

A week ago, I just had that, a mandatory staycation.  I wish I can tell you that I checked into a swanky hotel, enjoyed superb hotel service and a magnificent view.  Well, it was almost like that except that I checked into one of our finest hospitals, The Medical City for a minor procedure that had to be done urgently.  Before I cause unnecessary worry, I'd like to tell you that I am okay and have checked out by the 3rd day.

I must say that it really helped me get over my fear of hospitals that the staff were competent, they had state of the art medical facilities and I had very good doctors taking care of me.

Here's what happened last week:

After checking-in, they gave me a standard hospital accessory, a white bracelet with my name on it.


16 August 2013

Pevonia Botanica Ligne Tropicale De-Aging Mist

Here's my most recent skin care discovery: Pevonia Botanica's Ligne Tropicale de-aging mist, it's a luxurious and light body hydrating spritz from elite spa brand, Pevonia. 


10 August 2013

Grace Park, One Rockwell

Last Friday night, I had dinner with the ladies at Grace Park in One Rockwell.

 Rhia, Len, Me and Bambi

As soon as I entered Grace Park, I had sensory overload.  There was lively chatter and laughter coming from the 2nd level of the loft-type restaurant, I got a whiff of special dishes being cooked in the kitchen, the lighting was just right and the interiors, a mix of industrial, re-purposed materials and country chic.

The interior design consists of  floors and walls that are unfinished, the stairs that lead to the second level are made of recycled wood, country style decor adorned certain areas of the restaurant, mismatched chairs, utensils and drinking glasses in different colors but what really grabbed my attention were some of the mismatched plates that were very similar to what my mom had when we were growing up (If I remember it right, she told me that they were her wedding dinner plates.  They were very special, it had gold edges and period-inspired designs on them). 

The menu is printed on kraft paper, secured to a recycled corrugated board by a bamboo paper clip. Grace Park also takes pride in sourcing ingredients produced sustainably by regional farmers. 


08 August 2013

Old Vine Grille

Last Sunday, Mickey and I had lunch at Old Vine Grille.

I love Old Vine's high ceilings, rustic interiors, comfortable seating areas and well-spaced tables, it definitely sets you for a great dining experience.

It is our first time to try their Sunday lunch buffet spread, the food selection was just right and the food was spot-on in terms of taste.  Our favorites at the buffet (read: reasons to go back) were the Mediterranean salad, gambas-style shrimp, buffalo wings, baked cream dory, roast beef, the fresh to grill section, fresh to bake oysters and that chocolate cake that looks simple, but was heavenly!

The staff were attentive, courteous and polite.  Don't you just love good service?  Many times, aside from the selection and the quality of food, this is what makes us come back.

Let me show you the place:


03 August 2013

The Picture Company

Time flies so fast, it seems like yesterday when The Picture Company first opened their studios in Manila where they consistently took casual, fun photos and documented many special memories.

Last month, I was looking for a photo studio for a project that I am cooking for Le Blog and as I was trolling around facebook, I happily stumbled upon The Picture Company's page.  They are celebrating their eleventh year anniversary and were treating past members to free photo sessions and a high resolution digital file.  I remembered that I was a member in 2005 and 2006, so I called their Powerplant, Rockwell Branch to schedule my photo session.

On the day of the shoot, I had Maits as my photographer.  Maits was such a joy to work with, she helped me with my angles, made the shoot comfortable and shared a lot of laughs with me.  

Happy 11th Anniversary The Picture Company!  Thank you Maits for this photo.  I love it!


30 July 2013

Pure bliss at Fifth Season Spa, Astoria Plaza

There is a new spa in Astoria Plaza, right in the heart of the Ortigas Center Business District.

The recently opened Fifth Season Spa is a cozy day spa that offers a full range of services ranging from body massages, body treatment services, face therapy, foot therapy to nail care.  It also has five relaxing treatment rooms named after the four seasons (winter, spring, summer and fall) and a fifth season (a season that encompasses the beautiful qualities of all the four seasons).

I indulged in a luxurious 90-minute Rejuvenating Facial, a skin brightening treatment that uses no less than premium spa brand, Pevonia.  The green apple extracts brightens the skin while carrot oil and kaolin purifies and hydrates the skin leaving it smooth and rejuvenated.  I was trying not to fall asleep during the entire treatment so I can savor the whole experience.  After the treatment, my skin felt soft and supple, and the experience?  It was pure bliss!  It makes you want to go and get a spa treatment right?  Let me show you the place:

The hallway that leads to the different treatment rooms  


25 July 2013

Lunch with the ladies at Lusso, Greenbelt 5

I’ve passed by Lusso so many times in Greenbelt 5 but have never really dined there until Monday's lunch with the ladies.  It was a good thing my talented baker-mom friend Len has suggested we had lunch there, I agreed (who wouldn’t?) and so did our always on the go and cam-shy friend Brie.   

It was a good day to have lunch, the weather temperature was low, the sun was not so harsh,  and if you live in Manila, you know that days like these are precious.  


19 July 2013

My picks at Gourdo's mid-year sale!

When Mickey and I got married and moved in to our own place, I noticed that my interests shifted more to home and living.  I love decorating, re-decorating, accessorizing, re-accessorizing and changing the look of our space, mostly when seasons change or whenever I can.

On weekends, when there are no plans to go out, we are happy simply enjoying our cozy space, enjoying home-cooked meals (or ordering in from our favorite restaurants, if we feel like enjoying the weekend), we watch videos from the comforts of our own living room, read our favorite books and magazines and even play board games!  Indeed, home is where the heart is.

The other day, while I was walking around Greenbelt 5, I chanced upon Gourdo's mid-year sale.  I love the variety of things that they sell in the store, which are mostly for the kitchen and and for entertaining at home.  I was telling myself, I will just look around.  Major fail moment as I saw how the prices are so reasonable and mostly on buy one take one  promotions.  So, let me share with you, what I bought that afternoon: 

I bought these popcorn containers for weekend home movie dates with Mickey.  What I love most about watching movies at home is that it's comfortable, you can play the home theater as loud as you can for that cinematic experience and pause the player when you have to go to the loo (Haha!).  Just draw your black-out curtains and enjoy the movie with your loved ones.  These popcorn containers are on promo, at buy one take one for PhP 75.00


13 July 2013

Major shoe mileage in Tory Burch's Quinn and Reva flats

A lovely thing happened when I passed by the Tory Burch boutique in Greenbelt 5 several weeks ago.

I was checking out the current fashion in shoes, bags and clothes at the boutique and had no intention of buying shoes that time, but as I was leaving the store, I noticed that on the left side of the entrance door was a display rack that had flats, wedges, espadrilles and a few bags in them with a very discreet sale sign at the bottom.  I checked the price and was floored when I found out that Tory Burch's Quinn quilted leather ballet flats (in blue) and the suede reva flats (in plum) are on sale at 50 % off.  My head was reasoning with me, two for the price of one, I snagged the flats but only after calling Mickey for a go signal for the purchase and also before I changed my mind.  I love flats and I can see some major mileage in these for years.

The next thing I knew, I was calling my friends Len and Brie about the sale and what do you know, on the same day, we were all at the store but at different times to buy Tory Burch flats that were on sale.  Well, what is it that they say?  Birds of the same feather...are the same birds!  Haha!


08 July 2013

Nestle Acti-V Go Lounge

Last Saturday, we were invited by Nestle Acti-V and Nuffnang Philippines to a relaxing afternoon at Romulo Cafe in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

When we arrived at Romulo Cafe, we were treated to relaxing spa treatments.  I had the peppermint foot massage with hot stone while Mickey had the head and scalp massage with peppermint aroma oil.  We both enjoyed it immensely!


03 July 2013

Afternoon Tea at TWG Greenbelt 5

The lifestyle of current times demands so much of us that we have to make a juggling act, balancing time for activities with family, friends and even for ourselves.

So, if there's even a tiny chance to have tea with family or a friend, you go for it!

One afternoon, I had tea with my friend, Bambi.  For some glorious reason, we were both free that day and just had to take the opportunity to meet for tea and catch up on each other's lives.


30 June 2013

A pen to write beautifully with: Swarovski's crystalline lady ballpoint pen

In this digital age, I am one who still love the beautiful ways of old.

I use an Ipod for music on the go, but for our home, we still buy vinyl records.  Our collection spans from the distinct sound of the 80's to current popular music.  Why?  Simply because compressed digital recording fails in comparison to the rich and warm recording on vinyl .  Never mind if it's more challenging to actually handle and play a vinyl record, it's the actual experience of music that makes it worthwhile. 

I use an Ipad for minor writing, a laptop for blogging, but I still love writing things down.  Reaching for a trustee notebook that doesn't need power and using a pen to write things down is so liberating (haha!).     

I have written about these beautiful Swarovski  crystalline ballpoint pens last year.  This year, I finally was able to get myself one.  It's simply gorgeous.  I love that it writes smoothly and how the crystals shine when light strikes through them.


27 June 2013

Shu Uemura

I was looking for make-up I can wear during formal events.  The type that beautifully transforms your skin from average to nearly flawless if not flawless at all.

It's no secret that my favorite go-to make-up brand is Shu Uemura.  I guess it's because I attended their make-up classes in their Rockwell atelier a few years ago and understood how their products work and how they work well on a person's skin.    

During our recent trip to Duty Free Philippines, I couldn't resist gravitating towards the Shu Uemura counter (as usual) and asked about make-up I can use for formal events.  After they chose the right shade for me and asked about my skin type, we hied off to the ultra-glam hollywood-ish mirror with the lights on and  sat on the directors chair that proudly display the brand's name and let them work their magic.

What I love about the artists at Shu Uemura is that they are professional, approachable and very personable.  Honestly, I've never met an artist who worked for Shu Uemura who didn't have a great personality.  It's a major plus since, sometimes, hours are spent in the make-up chair and if the artist doesn't have a good personality to go with their skills, it's a major turn-off.

Here's my latest Shu Uemura haul:


22 June 2013

Early out of town breakfast at Buon Giorno

I was fiddling with my camera this morning and found these photos in the memory card.  I missed uploading them and now I am writing about how to enjoy an early weekend for a quick out of town trip.

We all had one of those, a week that is truly hectic.  It could be a week of problem solving, research, negotiation, approvals, deadlines, socials, heavy rain that comes (of all hours in the day it had to be) at rush hour and we're all stuck in a jam.  Sometimes, we just want to get away from it all, away from where it all happens and breathe some fresh air.

Well, that's just what we did.  During that week, Saturday couldn't come any sooner and I asked Mickey if we can go up to Tagaytay to have breakfast at Buon Giorno.  He was game for it as I was, so I called for the earliest reservation I could get (which was 7:30 am), reserved our favorite opium bed and hoped that the place would not be crowded when we get there.

We were on the road by 6:00 am, and as we left the heat and traffic in the city and slowly entered the colder, fresher, greener Tagaytay landscape, we knew we were right where we wanted to be that day.  It was a good day.

Buon Giorno can be found inside the compound of The Inn at the Cliff House Tagaytay.  There are other restaurants there (Fire Lake Grill and Cafe Platito) and dessert/snack shops (Cafe Breton, Fling frozen yogurt and Fruits in ice cream), but for today, we are having breakfast at Buon Giorno. 


19 June 2013

Wild and Free: Ann Pamintuan's beautiful steel horses

Have you seen the beautiful horses made of stainless steel wires and flat bars by renowned artist, Ann Pamintuan, at the Greenbelt ArtPark?  They are extremely beautiful.  I just had to stop and take a look at each one of them.

These works of art are huge and are scattered in different areas of the ArtPark.  
I love that they are captured in different positions.  This one seems to stop and look at me.


16 June 2013

Honoring Dad

Dearest Dad,

Your jokes crack, me up, even if I heard it a million times.

I remember with much fondness our morning chats and coffee together.  It was always a time when, I know that if  I have something on my mind, I know I can tell you about it and you would give me the best fatherly advice.

Happy father's day dad!  I love you dearly. 

P.S. - Mom, please let dad win in Scrabble even for just father's day.  Hahaha!

12 June 2013

Shoes to run in: Tory Burch's mid-wedge Sally

I love walking around in ballet flats, but there are outfits (and special days) when a girl needs a lift in height too.  For several months, I've been looking for a mid-wedge shoe that is not only stylish to wear from day to night but also comfortable enough to run in.  I saw several stylish types but oftentimes, there's a compromise, usually it's stylish but you can't stay in them for a long time (as Oprah would say, these type of shoes are just "shoes for sitting").  Plus, I don't want to be the girl with the nice shoes but had a funny walk! 

A few weeks ago, I walked inside the Tory Burch boutique and found this pretty pair of  mid-wedge Tory Burch Sally's with the tonal logo in Roccia python print.  They have it in my size, and at 45% off!  Heaven is on my side.  I tried them on, walked around the boutique, made sure they were comfortable enough to walk in and took these babies home.


09 June 2013

Mickey's birthday dinner at Chili's and TWG Rockwell

Last week, we celebrated Mickey's birthday.  It's been a while since we've been to the Powerplant at Rockwell, and when the birthday boy says he wants to have his favorite grilled pork chops at Chili's, then the birthday boy is sure to get his wish.  


03 June 2013

The classic Klippan sofa by Ikea

Condo living has it's challenges, for me and Mickey, it's all about finding the right scale furniture to fit a cozy space.  We bought our first sofa locally and were disappointed after less than a year, the foam started to deteriorate.  So, we were very careful in choosing the right sofa when the time came to retire the old one (too soon if you ask me).

Mickey would always see me browsing through the Ikea catalog and looking at the two-seater Klippan sofa.  What I love about the Klippan sofa are it's clean lines, contemporary design, removable and interchangeable covers (that changes every year) and the sturdy foam that makes it last long.  The Klippan sofa was first introduced in 1979, and thirty four years later, it is still one of Ikea's popular sofa models.

So, you can just imagine how happy I was when Mickey surprised me with a two-seater Klippan sofa last December.  Now, that's a great husband, haha!  He ordered the sofa from Mobler and got the one in the newest cover in Leaby Yellow with an extra cover in Alme Natural, nice!

Here it is in our living room after it was assembled by the people from Mobler.  I love it's happy yellow color,  It brightens up the living space.   

I also love the illumination that this Eglo floor lamp gives to the room, it makes the room feel warm and cozy.  The light colored shade makes it a great reading lamp at night. 


02 June 2013

Beautiful Bonsais

A year ago for father's day, I gave my dad bonsais.  I made a mental note during one of our conversations that he wanted to learn to grow and take care of them.  My parents both have green thumbs and a year later, the bonsais are still in their house.  I admit that I have also grown to admire the little trees, I am captivated by their beauty and how perfect they always look, never a leaf out of place.

This Sunday afternoon, Mickey and I came across a bonsai exhibit at Eastwood Mall's Open Park.  There were so many beautiful bonsais!  I stopped and admired each and every one of them and truly, they are all works of art.

 This bonsai is my favorite, I love how the branches and leaves cascade downwards


20 May 2013

SM Aura's VIP Launch

Last week was all about Sarah Jessica Parker opening SM Aura (SM's new premier mall) in Taguig City.

Everyone was well dressed at the VIP launch.  The men looked dapper in their dark suits and the women looked elegant in their cocktail dresses.  Honestly, I've never seen Manila so well-dressed for an opening.

I guess, Sarah Jessica Parker's presence inspired everyone to look their best.


12 May 2013

Honoring Mom

Dearest Mom,

I remember when my brothers and I were still kids, you would come home from work and you would cook our favorite dishes for us.  You just loved being a mom to Jojo, Ed and I, and we love you for that.  

In my teen years, I would get excited when the weekend is around, because I know we'll be baking cakes and pastries together.  It always felt good when we would get the thumbs up from the boys (dad and my brothers).  They were our ultimate (food) critics!

When I got a bit older, you gave me wings and trusted me to make my own judgments.  You taught me the value of family and how it is important to support each other especially during tough times. 

Your relentless support in all my aspirations made it easier for me to achieve my goals and to this day, it inspires me to dream big.

Happy mother's day mom!  I love you to bits!

30 April 2013


Ladies and Gents, mark your calendars on Friday, May 17 for the opening of global Spanish brand, SuiteBlanco's flagship store in SM Aura Premier, Taguig City.  SuiteBlanco showcases men and women's clothing, shoes and accessories that are top of the trend but are affordable.

SuiteBlanco has 240 stores spread across 15 countries and is brought into the Philippines by the SM Group.  The same group that brought in popular global brands Forever 21 and Uniqlo into the country.

Here's a sneak peek into SuiteBlanco's Spring/Summer 2013 Collection:


26 April 2013

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery

I love retail shops and restaurants that have visual appeal.  It's the very first thing that draws me in.  Such is this coffee and dessert place in Glorietta, Vanilla Cupcake Bakery.  The interiors has been Heima-fied, Daphne-fied and also Cath Kidston-ished altogether!

Colorful tables and chairs from Heima, Daphne chairs in candy colors and Cath Kidston-ish fabrics and accessories were used in the bakery's interior design .  The place sends off a homey vibe that makes you want to linger.

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