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.  

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