Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Shop at Shopspot

Hey, for the peeps in the Philippines! We've got this little spot going on and you might want to check it out! Lots of great stuff for summer! Like these...

Plus more! =) Link us up too when you get the chance! See ya!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More A.P.C. Love

Lots of new stuff at APC! Madras collection just in! Ugh! Must avoid this store at all costs!

Sharing My Outfit Day

This is what I wore last Saturday. We were invited over to lunch at a friend's house. It was very spring-y so I decided to shave my legs and wear a dress! Hahaha! The weather was just right, sunny but with a bit of chill in the air.

By 4 pm, it started to get a lot cooler so I had to wear a light jersey scarf around my neck.

What's so special about this outfit? Well for starters, I got the dress on clearance for $10, the coat was a Gap export overrun that cost me Php700 pesos back in Manila, the Zara cardigan was $20 CAD and the jersey scarf was $14 from TJ Maxx! So yeah, all in all this outfit cost me about $58 or about Php2,500! (Excluding the shoes, bag and jewelry though! Heehee!)

Strawberry necklace: Kenneth Jay Lane
Bag: Balenciaga
Ballet flats: French Sole

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cheap Thrill

When a shopping ban is in full force, I only have my monthly magazine subscriptions to give me my fashion fix.

That and Red Mango frozen yogurt! When I'm itching to spend, $6 for a cup of frozen yogurt is a luxury I can afford! Hehehe!

Thank goodness for life's little pleasures! And my dear husband Harvey who captured me in all my happy glory!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Time: The New Status Symbol

And I don't mean watches. We're talking hard currency here, as measured in seconds, minutes, hours. No wonder there's that phrase "the luxury of time..."

Because some people are too busy earning big bucks to be bothered by mundane matters, it is not uncommon for a certain mogul to employ someone to wear his sweaters to hurry the process of that worn-in look, for a British filmmaker to keep a supply of gift baskets with luxurious generic items to a ship out at a moment's notice, and for a certain billionaire to employ an in-house burger chef, who flies with him wherever he goes...

If you find that amazing, read all about it in this May 2008 W article below:

When Reuters reported on time being considered a luxury, little did we normal folks realize how far the big shots would go to make the most of their precious hours!

Hey, if there are any billionaires reading this blog, I've got lots of time! For a reasonable fee, I'm willing to spend my hours doing your shopping! I've got excellent taste, and I will never make you look nouveau riche if you just let me do my thing! I can even break in your new shoes for you! For free! How's that for a deal?!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Plain and Simple

These days, we just seem to get too caught up with what's newer, better, faster, hotter! But sometimes plain and simple isn't so bad. There's beauty in the most random, everyday things if we just stop and look...

Lately, I've just been staying at home. Trying to avoid shopping! Heehee! Hence, my no make-up, no fuss, housewife look, still clutching the house keys too! Yup! No glamour here!

Long sleeved tee: Mango
Cardigan: Uniqlo
Jeans: J Brand 910

(Photos courtesy of Harvey Dychiao)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Shopping SOS: College Girl Goes to California

...I'm going to California in a few days and I'm looking forward to shopping! I'm a college girl, so I need lots of casual and affordable stuff. Please do recommend stores that I shouldn't miss! And, would you recommend going to outlet stores? :) Thanks, MFO! - College Girl

Thanks for dropping by College Girl! I asked two California based bloggers, Belle and Debbie, who are certified experts when it comes to shopping in Southern California.

Here's what Debbie has to say:

I think it kind of depends on where you prefer to shop. If you don't mind combing the racks, Loehmann's or Nordstrom Rack is a good place to start. If you prefer boutique-type stores, Last Chance Boutique on Washington Blvd. carries great labels for half the price. I think they get their goods from department store overruns. If you don't mind going to Downtown LA, the vendors at the California Mart open up to the public for sample sales on the last Friday of every month.

As far as outlets go, Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Palm Springs and Camarillo Premium Outlets in Camarillo are the places to go. The Palms Springs location offers a variety of designer goods including Dior, Gucci, and YSL. The Camarillo locations has stores like Ugg, American Apparel, Betsey Johnson and Michael Kors among others.

Oh, and don't forget to check Bargains LA for the latest sample sales information.

Belle as well (ooh! that rhymes!), gave a rundown of her all time favorite places to go shopping. She says, "Not only will you enjoy shopping, these venues are really soothing because you see a lot of things..."

(The) Grove - an outdoor shopping district featuring high- end stores and restaurants, a theater, live performances. This is a nice place to wander around and take in the sights, or go on a shopping spree. Farmers Market is directly adjacent. [between Hollywood and West LA] (Although i dont think a college budget would be good for this place, its just really a great place to hang around and enjoy window shopping if ever. You cant miss this place if your visiting Cali. My husband and I saw a lot of actors shopping here, like two ladies from Desperate Housewives)

189 The Grove Dr # F80
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 900-8000

Then there's the Topanga Mall. This one is really close by our place. We most always prefer going here that any other mall near by because it has everything! They even have a Target and yet have Nordstrom, Ruehl (I see a lot of college students in this store), a coming soon Neiman Marcus (fall of 2008) and many more!

6600 Topanga Canyon Boulevard
Canoga Park CA 91303
(818) 594 8732

Third Street Promenade - An exciting open-air pedestrian street pulsates with an international mix of people enjoying an eclectic blend of restaurants, unique retail shops, movie theatres and nightclubs. The best in dining, shopping, entertainment and a non-stop kaleidoscope of street performers combine to make Downtown Santa Monica and the Third Street Promenade a favorite destination for visitors and residents alike [Santa Monica area].

3rd Street (between Broadway & Wilshire),
Santa Monica, CA. / (310) 393-7593 or (310) 393-9825

From all the outlets I've been to, I like Camarillo Premium Outlets the most. I guess because the Saks is bigger than any of the ones I've seen.

740 E. Ventura Boulevard,
Camarillo, CA 93010
(805) 445-8520

but there's one in the LA area, its not so bad either...

(The) Citadel Factory Outlet - Find many of your favorite name brands at up to 70% off retail prices. From clothing and accessories to house wares and gift items, you'll discover everything you're looking for, including a food court full of flavors -- all in relaxed outdoor setting for a true Southern California shopping experience [near Downtown].

100 Citadel Drive, Suite 480
Los Angeles, CA 90040

Wow! That's a lot! Thanks Donna and Belle! Hmmm, makes me want to go to California soon too! Let me add my personal favorites like Old Navy, TJ Maxx and Target! Easy to find clothes for under $10 in these shops! I've heard of Ross Dress for Less but I'm not too sure of how great the selection is, but it's worth a try! I totally agree with visiting outlet stores. These are your best bet for cheap and trendy finds!

Hope this helps you out College Girl! Enjoy your trip to California and I hope you find lots of good stuff! The secret is to scope out the sale or clearance racks first! I've bought dresses for less than $5 that way! ;) Happy shopping!

UPDATE: More from Raissa, another California based shopper/blogger!

Brea Mall has a good mix of high, medium and affordable shops. Its on OC so the sales tax is lower hahaha!

Old Town Pasadena (along Colorado) has a long stretch of shops - GAP, H&M, Forever 21 (2 floors), Banana Rep etc. and restaurants too and also clubs and bars.

Hollywood & Highland is also a nice place to shop and go around. It's near the Mann Chinese Theater and the Walk of Fame. In the same street is the biggest Forever 21 store I have ever seen and there's an H&M nearby and also GAP, AE, Lucky and Sephora.

(How could I forget H&M? Please go to H&M College Girl! Lots of cheap but good stuff to buy here! - MFO)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

8 and a HALF at Tresorie

I love shoes! But no, this post is not about shoes. 8 and a HALF is not even my shoe size. Hehe!

8 and a HALF is the brainchild of a Philippine clothing manufacturer who has been in the business for over 28 years. She makes clothes for well-known local labels and was trained in retail at Emanuel Ungaro. 8 and a HALF is her initial foray into designing and creating for her own brand, and her pieces are currently available at Tresorie.

With summer at its peak, I know dressing up is the last thing on our minds. Makes sense to simply throw on tank tops, shorts or mini dresses and flip flops. But you just might change your mind if you take a look at these pieces from 8 and a HALF at Tresorie's summer collection:

LA MER headlines the summer collection. It's very versatile, as it can be worn different ways. The bottom skirt can be tied underneath to give that scrunched "bubble" look, or be let loose as a full skirt. Wear this dress to a day at the beach and onto an intimate dinner at a romantic place. *Will come in other prints /darker solids soon* Priced at Php 2,580.

FREE FLOW is made of yellow silk voile, and can be worn as a tube top, or a halter, or even a skirt, and can also be used to the beach as a cover skirt for your maillot. *Will come in other prints* Priced at Php 1,680.

MAROON ROSETTE works as a dress or as a top. Full rosette detail forms the "strap" for this top/ dress. Priced at Php 2,480.

Don't you just love light and airy fabrics for summer? Digging those retro prints too! There are more pieces coming in the next week or so! Check out Tresorie at:

2nd Flr Doña Consolacion Bldg.
122 Jupiter St. Makati
Tel: ( 632) 890 0037

So many other goodies to see too (just look at those bags and blings behind the dresses)! If you're not in Manila, why not shop through the Tresorie website? Tresorie ships locally and internationally ;)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Uncanny Ability

I've always been a curious cat. And I like watching people. Discreetly of course, hahaha! I'm not that psycho. In the years that I have observed people, I think I have become pretty good at profiling. I should probably work as a consultant for the intelligence community because I can pretty much scope out a person's life just by looking at them, more often than not.

Let's put it this way, I always get around the city using the subway, because I'm too cheap to spring for cab fare. I'd rather walk than ride a cab. If the weather was nice, I'd rather walk than take the subway. Makes for good exercise too! Anyway, I digress. In my subway rides, I've noticed that commuters make a concerted effort not to look at other people, other than their traveling companion. They would read the paper or a book, stare into space, read the ads overhead, plug on their earphones or close their eyes and pretend to sleep. But not me. I look at other people, they won't look back at me anyway. Am I scaring you now?

I can pick out the tourists from the locals, the Upper East Side types vs. the downtown crowd, those out to party vs. those going straight home from work, kids with their nannies vs. kids with their moms. And I especially know where the bums like to sit, so I always try to stay in the middle, never mind if I have to stand. Although I prefer train surfing, so that I don't have to touch the poles or the hand rails.

Now on to my story. There's a young family that I often run into on my subway rides, and we always end up boarding the same train car. They always travel together, even on weekday work hours so I've always wondered how they could do that. Shouldn't the dad be at work at least? Because they definitely do not look like tourists. No, not at all. They live in the city, I could tell. The dad however didn't look like a Wall Street suit, but he didn't look like a scruffy musician who played with his band at night either. If he was a Hollywood actor spending downtime in NYC, I would have recognized him. Maybe he was a Jewish businessman? And the mom though young and a bit harassed while pushing the baby's stroller to and fro, was always dressed in jeans, a nice navy blazer and wore an expensive watch, so they definitely were upwardly mobile types if not born into money. She had style and was effortless about it. Very intriguing. I often wondered what this trio was up to. I couldn't profile them exactly.

As I scanned through the May issue of Vogue, I saw the answer laid right before my eyes:

Case closed.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Public Service Announcement!

Catch the return of Gossip Girl tonight, at 8/7 p.m. CST exclusively on The CW.

Here's the Daily Candy recap:

"Blair’s life is in shambles, having been dethroned by back-to-back bombshells that a) she might be preggers and b) the babydaddy could be Chuck or Nate. (Cough, tramp.)

Luckily, the hormonal bitchiness is just Blair’s personality, not an unborn Upper Eastsider. But the damage is done. Chuck and Nate abandon her, and the cruel crew dethrones her as queen bee, wasting no time in choosing a replacement: social-climbing Jenny Humphrey."

Ooohh! Scandal-ous!


MFO ;)

(Photo credit:

For those who checked in earlier, and saw the original image I uploaded for this post, I have to apologize for my lack in judgment! Eeep! My bad! While I am happy that Gossip Girl is back, I think the cwtv people responsible for that image need to have their mouths washed with soap! Well, that and and a good spanking from conservative watchdogs!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Feeling Good with Lipton Milk Tea

I have to admit, I was so thrilled when I got an invite to attend the Lipton Milk Tea event at Body Shop Glorietta last Friday, April 18. Does this mean I'm a big time blogger now? Hehehe!

The sad thing is, I'm still out of the country and couldn't make it...unless the folks at Unilever spring for my airfare! So I guess I'm not THAT big time yet. *Thud* Hello, back to earth! Hahaha! But see, I've been adding milk to my tea for years (a habit I picked up when our family lived in London for a couple of years. Tea in England is always served with milk, from the tattered living room of an English eccentric, to the coffee shop at Selfridges, and yes, especially at the Palm Court at the Ritz), so I really was curious to see what Lipton Milk Tea was all about. The idea of instant milk tea just appeals to me!

Because I'm a responsible blogger, and mainly because I didn't want to miss this event, I sent my Manila correspondent to attend on my behalf. That correspondent being my youngest sister Nicole (yes, the one I share Teen Vogue magazines with), who thankfully agreed to free up her busy social schedule so she can attend on my behalf! Yay!

At 12 midnight here (12 noon in Manila), I called the house just to make sure that Nicole wasn't going to bail on me. Ahh, what little faith I have! Turns out, as my mom assured me, Nicole even enlisted the help of our dear brother Andrew to go with her, because she was shy and didn't want to go alone. Big brother Andrew said yes. Awww shucks! Thank God for my little siblings!

Now if you know my sibs, they get bored easily. And in a group of strangers, can be very shy. But guess what! They had a great time at the Lipton Milk Tea event! *HUGE sigh of relief here*

According to Nicole's report, the event kicked off with a trivia game. Lily, the host, basically was able to give the history of tea by way of the trivia game (such as tea originating from China 5000 years ago). Very interactive! Then she explained how the English came to add milk to tea (they did it for many reasons, one is to cool the cup because china cups in the early days were so delicate that it would crack from the heat of the tea! So milk was really meant to cushion the heat!) and introduced Lipton Milk Tea. Of course, they got to do a taste test afterwards!

Nicole said Lipton Milk Tea tastes like chai tea, and you could really taste the milk. And, its not too sweet. In her own words, "I find normal tea bitter. And the milk adds that dairy taste which makes it child friendly. I think a lot more people can drink it. Like for me, when I was a kid I thought tea was for old people, old English people. Or for Mommy, because she drinks tea a lot, and I only drink tea if I have a sore throat...although my friends say tea relaxes them during stressful school days..."

After they got to try the different Lipton Milk Tea variants, they were told to go around Body Shop and look for 3 items that made them "feel good". Nicole said it was hard to choose 3 because she wanted EVERYTHING! Hahaha! The funny thing is, she said "Being in Body Shop itself makes me feel good." She ended up with some make-up and had Andrew pick one more thing because she didn't know what else to get. So when Minnie, Lipton Milk Tea's assistant brand manager, said they get to keep what they picked out, she said she should have chosen better! Hahaha! I hope Andrew got something he could use!

All in all, Nicole enjoyed the event and found it a good experience! (See, doing favors for me can be fun!) She also got to bring home Lipton Milk Tea!

When she told her friends that she got to attend the event, they wanted to know all about it! Apparently, when they all first saw the product on a commercial, they all wanted to try it right away. So she gave some to her friends. "They loved it!" Nic said...

Then she signed off saying, "We should buy more Milk Tea!"

Friday, April 18, 2008

This is Crazy Good!

20 issues for $10. That's 50 cents an issue for two years!

Hell yeah! Of course I subscribed! I remember buying Teen Vogue for my little sister Nicole for Php250 an issue back home! (Because I read it too! Heehee!) So it's like 2 issues there is 20 issues here?

So unfair no?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Awww Shucks

L'il old me got interviewed by Yonina Chan of Manila Bulletin a couple weeks back. The first part of the article came out April 6 and you might want to read it here.

I contribute to a local magazine back home, and I am used to doing all the questioning. It was kind of weird being the interviewee this time. But Yonina was such a sweetie and very professional too, so it didn't take me long to answer her questions and rattle on incoherently haha!

Thanks Yonina for the heads up! Can't wait to read Part 2 online! My mom saved the article, but my dad who is a neatfreak thought it was just an old newspaper and threw it out! Waaahhh!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Shopping SOS: Miss Manhattan

...Do you have suggestions for women heading to the Philippines? I am headed there in September. I am very interested in shopping at places with Filipino designers. I reside in NYC, so I can get most European designer pieces here. But as far as finding Filipino designers or South East Asian designers the task is not so simple. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, do you have suggestions for places to obtain paintings by Filipino artists depicting Filipino life? I came across your blog, and it's terrific! - RZ

Thanks for your comment/questions Miss Manhattan! Let's start with Filipino designers first. I assume that when you get to Manila, you really won't have enough time to go for fittings and all that with Filipino couturiers. If you want ready-to-wear Filipino designer dresses that can stand side by side European/American designer pieces, the first place that you should visit in Manila is Myth in Greenbelt 5.

Myth is a showcase of creations from 8 individually accomplished Filipino designers/artists (creative director Randy Ortiz, designers, Dennis Lustico, Ivarluski Aseron, Joey Samson Jojie Lloren, painter Doltz Pilar, and stylists Henri Calayag and Jing Monis). Everything in the boutique, from men's and ladies' apparel, to home accessories and small paintings, even beauty, skin care and hair care products, are proudly Philippine-made.

Thanks to Ruby Gan, here's a teaser of what's in store for you in Myth...

Shift dresses with airbrushed rosettes in powder blue, blush and pistachio...

And corset belts from Randy Ortiz...

Summer perfect white linen dresses from Dennis Lustico...

Feminine yet edgy dresses from Ivarluski Aseron...

And a grey monochromatic dress with ruffle sleeves from Joey Samson...

Myth is a store of surprises, even the men's shirts by Randy Ortiz are pretty enough for us girls to wear!

Check out the detail on this one...

Of course, please also refer to Gian's recommendations, this post and this post I did a couple months back, for more on shopping in the Philippines!

Now, when it comes to art and paintings, it really depends on what kind of art you like. For a comprehensive collection of Filipino artwork, I suggest that you check out the Kulay-Diwa Gallery of Philippine Contemporary Art in Paranaque City.

Kulay-Diwa Gallery of Philippine Contemporary Art
25 Lopez Avenue, Lopez Village,Sucat
Paranaque City, Metro Manila 1700
Tel: (632)8260574

Here you'll find surrealist Mark Justiniani's depictions of the dark and gritty side of Filipino life, Anita Magsaysay Ho's graceful native women going about their tasks, and Danilo Dalena's provincial hometown scenes among other acclaimed local artists works. For more on investing on Philippine art and to know more about our local artists, check out Kulay-Diwa's website here.

I hope you enjoy your stay in Manila! I am sure you will find plenty of world-class pieces there that will blend very well with your New York City treasures!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Spring Has Sprung!

Not a very creative, nor exciting outfit to celebrate spring with, but good enough for a trip to the grocery, hehehe!

(Photos by Harvey Dychiao)
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