Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Rags2Riches Sale on AVA!

Ooooh! The Rags2Riches x Rajo Laurel clutches that launched last week are on AVA now! But going fast, so hurry! It comes in a bright yellow color too, but you've got to see if for yourself! ;)

Shop the Rags2Riches Sale, HERE!

Gap Kids x DVF in Manila!

Apparently, it's out today! Available exclusively  in  Gap  Shangri-La  Plaza  and  Gap  Bonifacio  High  Street only!

Petite women are in luck actually because sizes go up to age 14! For a peek of the collection, I blogged it HERE!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Acca Kappa

What you see above is my collection of Acca Kappa brushes. The first one I bought is that wide toothed comb on the left. It's missing a tooth now, but you know, it's practically ten years old, more or less, so it has definitely withstood the test of time. The second one I got is the paddle brush which I purchased a year after I got my comb. I have been happily using these brushes, along with a comb and a boar bristle brush from Mason Pearson the last couple of years. I've realized, since I've invested in nice brushes, they surprisingly don't get lost at all, hehe. Maybe because I end up taking extra good care of them, and make a conscious effort to put them back in place?

A few months ago, Therese of Rustan's sent me the oval brushes - the soft bristle ones for Berry, and the boar and nylon ones for me. Then I bought the roller brush just a month ago. While I only brush my hair after I take a bath or when I blow dry my hair, it makes sense to me to have all these brushes. I guess I just enjoy looking at my collection of pretty brushes. Hee!

So when Therese as well as Jenny from PR invited me to the launch of Acca Kappa's new brush and bath lines at Lourd Ramos's newly opened salon on Arnaiz Avenue, I happily said, "Yes! I'll go!". After all, I am a huge fan of Acca Kappa, and have been so for years now.

If you are not familiar, or if you need a refresher on what Acca Kappa is all about, it is an Italian heritage brand that was established in 1869 near Venice, Italy. The main focus then was to produce quality hairbrushes and accessories. Acca Kappa soon became the official brush supplier to Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family, and today, the company is the largest manufacturer of quality brushes in Italy. They have also since expanded to colognes, as well as bath and body lines.

The latest of which is the Green Mandarin line with purifying properties - composed of the Green Mandarin Purifying Shampoo & Conditioner with Moringa Extracts, Bath and Shower Gel with Rosemary and Yarrow Extracts, Scented Body Water with Rosemary and Yarrow Extracts, and Liquid Hand Soap with Thyme and Echinacea Extracts.

I have the Green Mandarin scented body water and it really does smell citrus-y fresh! A bit thicker and more dense than the finely misting face and body water I am used to, but it does have scenting and moisturizing properties, so that's the trade off. The smell comes off strong at first, but when it tapers off, it leaves a faint, fresh scent. I think this would be nice to use for cooling off when you're out by the pool or the beach on a hot summer day. 

Of course, I became an instant fan of their latest brush - the Acca Kappa Protection brush.

Unlike regular brushes which can feel prickly against your scalp, it has looped bristles that gently massage it - stimulating microcirculation, which is apparently beneficial to the hair follicles. I was also told that the looped bristles make excellent detanglers because it does not damage the hair structure. Since I tend to have tangled hair after I shampoo, I have been using the Protection brush and true enough, it really is a better detangler than my wide toothed comb. It just glides on to the hair, detangling as it goes.

If you are going to invest in a good brush, might as well get this one and only this one. Its great for detangling and for blow drying hair as well! Kind of like an all-in-one!

Hmmm, which makes my collection of brushes redundant in a way. But ok lang, they're pretty nice to look at naman, heehee!

Acca Kappa is exclusively available at all Rustan’s Department Stores.

Monday, March 26, 2012

22 Weeks: Secret Stash

My sister-in-law Lorr has often told me about her secret place for export overruns and it was only last week that we found the chance to check it out. We went 2 weeks ago (I am actually going on 24 weeks this week) and I have gone back twice since Lorr first brought me there! That same week, to accompany my sister Dianne, and last week, to bring my Mom. Who both were so happy with their stash of clothing!

This was my find during my first visit there, a linen and jersey vest from Rock & Republic. Not bad for Php1200. Actually, I was expecting to pay less, but the saleslady said "Ma'm Rock & Republic yan!" Aba! She knows her brands. Plus Lorr said, I won't be able to find a vest of that quality for Php1200 anywhere. Ok, sold!

Worn with a tank from Mango, Topshop leggings, Repetto ballet flats, accessories from J.Crew & Kristine Dee/Paul Syjuco

My next visit, I scored this blush lightweight blazer by Lauren Conrad for Kohl's for Php700. So perfectly summer-y! I love it! I saw some blush blazers at Zara and Mango and OMG, they're like more than 5 times the price of this one. This is practically a steal. (UPDATE: I just got back from Zara, it's almost 10x the price of this one pala!)

Worn with a white tank from Zara, J Brand jeans, Miu Miu flat t-bar sandals (the blush stones on the sandals are the perfect complement to the blazer hee!), accessories from J.Crew and Fenton/Fallon

Prices are really amazing I tell you. Tops are Php400, dresses and blazers are Php700, and there's an area outside where you can score tops from Php200 to Php300.

Overruns are mostly from Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap, Madras, but if you have a good eye, you'll spot various random brands with interesting designs that you won't find anywhere else. Great pieces you can wear to work, or on weekends.

UPDATE: I would have to close the request for the address aka The Secret Circle is closed (as Isabelle, one of my readers put it heehee). I received over 500 emails and I tried my best to reply to every one, including the ones in the Spam folder over the past couple of days. I hope I did not miss out on anybody's email. At this point, I cannot promise I can reply to succeeding emails any more, as it has gotten overwhelming. So sorry! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Patrice Ramos-Diaz at Urban Ashram

It's the middle of March and you know what that means? Patrice Ramos-Diaz's first RTW collection - a line of yoga clothing, will soon be out on March 30, at All Things Yoga, the yoga shop inside Urban Ashram!

I was invited to the launch event at Urban Ashram last month and I saw lots of great pieces for both in and out of the yoga studio. The collection has designs for guys and girls, and are made up of a mix of tribal fabric and dri-fit materials, guaranteeing a balanced mix of style and comfort. You may view the complete collection via but let me share with you two of my faves:

This tribal print skirt as worn by the model above, and by jeweler Joyce Orena below:

I also love this wrap-around cover up in heather grey as worn by the model in the middle:

Patrice says her inspiration was to create a yoga line that would could "allow for unrestricted movement, all the while looking stunning". See for yourself the yoga clothes designed by Patrice, in action and as worn by Urban Ashram's yoga enthusiasts here:

Maricar Holopainen, Director & Teacher at Urban Ashram shares that Patrice's collection is part of their advocacy campaign to promote yoga as a lifestyle choice, and to reach a wider audience through fashion.

From L to R: JP, Ivy, Maricar, Marc & Martin of Urban Ashram

Thanks so much to the Urban Ashram Team for inviting me. I had a great time at your launch and can't wait to go back to shop the collection =)

PS - Your studio looks great! Love the interiors and the furniture & fixtures designed by Kenneth Cobonpue. More importantly, hope you can have a pre-natal yoga class soon! Hee! =)

Urban Ashram Manila is located at Suite 302, 3 Brixton St., Kapitolyo, Pasig City. For more info, log on to or call 661YOGA, 377YOGA or 0917881YOGA (9642).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Itsie-Bitsie's Spring 2012 Trend Forecast

More than just new arrivals, new brands are launching at Itsie-Bitsie Rockwell! Look out for Pink Chicken, Vanessa Mooney, and my personal fave - Gryphon New York!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fresh Produce

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by and introduced to Fresh Produce, a casual/resort clothing line based in the US, which was founded in Long Beach, CA back in 1984. What started as a graphic tee/custom jewelry venture that sold out of the parking lot of the Los Angels Coliseum during the 1984 Summer Olympics has become one of the most widely available sportswear brands in the US. It is also worth mentioning that even after three decades, while other brands have shifted production overseas due to rising costs, Fresh Produce clothes are still made in the USA.

And while it has relocated its headquarters to Boulder, Colorado today, it continues to design simple, comfortable clothing that evoke a summer state of mind. 

The fabric is indeed super soft and comfortable - feels like a lived-in sweater that I've had for years.

Fresh Produce may often be associated with resort or summer fashion, but in fact, their clothes can actually be worn year round. I was sent the Standing Ovation Cardigan in black, a lightweight cardigan and one of the nicest in their collection of women's cardigans, so I could try it out and O.M.G. it is love! It is a simple piece, but so stylish and versatile - I can wear it with leggings, shorts, jeans, loose tanks  and tees whatever. Just throw it on, and its a great look in a snap. I think this piece works for traveling too.

Plus, it is long enough and drape-y enough that I could even wear it as a wrap around dress. As long as I secure it with a belt and two safety pins.

Fresh Produce can be found online, in Nordstrom and over 500 specialty boutiques and resort retailers, as well as company-owned stores and factory outlets throughout the US, including exclusive seashore resorts in North America and the Caribbean.

Fresh Produce also ships internationally to over 200 countries. Please read the Shipping FAQ on the Fresh Produce site for details!

Luminox for Tough Guys

I first came across Luminox watches at Mr. Porter, which is the last site you would expect tough guys to shop at. Turns out, more than just well-designed, luxe looking watches, Luminox has its roots in military warfare and law enforcement. Humble yes, but definitely rugged, versatile, durable. So it comes as no surprise that Luminox also counts among its enthusiasts - sportsmen, divers, plus athletic and outdoorsy men and women who want a watch that can withstand abuse and other extreme conditions.

8821KM Recon Pointman Php19,850

After all, Luminox is the only watch that uses the proprietary "Luminox Light Technology" - a Swiss self-powered illumination system which makes Luminox watches extremely visible at night—in fact, the technology Luminox uses provides 24/7 luminosity, regardless of conditions, for up to 25 years. Unlike other watches that use luminescent paint or push button illumination systems.

It is this Luminox Light Technology that got the attention of many military and law enforcement agencies, allowing its highly trained men and women to read the watches in any condition, not just low light, but even in total darkness. It is just a plus that Luminox watches look great.

Check these out:

1148 Tony Kanaan Series Php57,000

Field Valjoux Chronograph Php105,600

1503 Deep Dive Automatic Php99,450

3051 Blackout PHP15,450

7065 Colormark Ladies PHP15,450

9278 F-22 Raptor 9200 Php56,450

Luminox watches are available at:

The Podium
Solenad 2
Paseo de Sta. Rosa
Rudy Project Mall of Asia
Rudy Project Boni facio High Street
Rudy Project Alabang Town Center
Rudy Project Glorietta
Rudy Project TriNoma
Rustan’s Makati
Time Trends Megamall
Duty Free Terminal 3
Duty Free Airmall

PS: Luminox Photo in Action Contest ongoing until April 15, 2012!

Join Luminox Photo in Action!

Founded in 1989, Luminox specialises in Swiss-made watches that are easy to read in low-light situations, thanks to their innovative self-powered illumination technology. Worn by US Navy SEALS SWAT Teams, and USAF Stealth jet pilots, Luminox combines cutting edge technology, forward-thinking design and extreme performance in both everyday and extreme conditions.

For those who have already discovered Luminox, here's your chance to win Php20,000 worth of Luminox gift cards, to get yourself another watch to add to your collection, or to share Luminox with a loved one:

Simply take a photo of yourself wearing your Luminox watch and just follow the mechanics! Contest begins today, and submission of photos are accepted until April 15, 2012.


1. Like Luminox Philippines’ official Facebook Fan Page

2. Send your best photo-in-action wearing any Luminox watches to Luminox Philippines’ official email address:

3. An entry will be valid only if the photo comes with your full contact details (full name and email address/facebook name—this will be used to tag you your picture)

5. One photo entry per person only.

6. Promo period is from March 15, 2012 to April 15, 2012 only

7. Deadline of submission is April 15, 2012

8. Determination of winner: We will screen all photos sent to our email address, once approved, we will upload it on our official Facebook fan page: The best photo will be announced on April 16, 2012 through our facebook fan page and notify the winner through email. Winner should claim his prize at Luminox Podium (4th Floor Podium Mall Ortigas Center, Pasig City) on April 16, 2012 6:00 PM. Winner should present 2 valid ID’s for identification purposes.

9. Photos will be screened by Luminox representatives according to the criteria for judging:

35% ORIGINALITY The image should be original and should not be taken from the internet, magazines, and the like. The person in the picture should be the person who submitted the entry.

35% CREATIVITY Since the photo should be a "photo-in-action", it should be creatively done. (ex. A person diving wearing a Luminox watch). The photo should be in action and not just a still photo.

25% BRAND VISIBILITY The Luminox watch used in the photo must clearly be visible or there should be an emphasis on the watch used.

5% AUDIENCE IMPACT This would be determined through the number of people liking the photo through comments or "likes" in Facebook.

10. The winner will win PHP 20,000 worth of Luminox giftcards.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Latest on Grandma's

I love Angel's experiment with Grandma's Secret Spot Remover and it just makes me so happy when I see how much it has helped moms like me who really can't stand stains. It really is such a great help. A relief to have around, because now we never have to worry about nasty stains. Especially if you hate seeing your favorite things and clothes go to waste.

Here's the excerpt from her blog, Wonder Woman Rises:

Recently, Berry accidentally wrote on our couch with a black Sharpie pen (yes a Sharpie!) and you know what, Grandma's took out the stain, no sweat. Grandma's is amazing, I tell you. To experiment is to believe!

PLUS! Great news for those who frequent Robinson's Galleria and those who live in the Diliman/Katipunan Quezon City area!

Grandma's Secret Spot Remover is now available at PLUM Manila, at 50th Avenue in Robinson's Galleria:

And since Caleb's Closet Ecostore is based in Diliman, QC, expect faster shipping when you order online and you live in the area!

Incidentally, Lei of Caleb's Closet  shares that she will be setting up a stall at the Rock for Humanity Eco Bazaar in Claret School in QC this Sunday! Look for her there!

For the complete list of stockists, click HERE!

21 Weeks: Busy Week

The past week was a busy week, and I was practically out everyday running errands, shuttling Berry to her activities, going to meetings and attending my BFFs parties: Nina's baby shower and the christening of A's twins. Here's a roundup of what I wore at 21 Weeks. Still haven't bought maternity clothes, wearing my usual stuff - mostly leggings, tunics, oversized button downs, jeans two sizes too big and jersey dresses from Vestito.

Went to the grocery wearing top from Uniqlo, Topshop leggings, Repetto ballet flats (please open soon, Repetto Manila!), accessories from Proenza Schouler and Vita Fede

Went to a press event and an interview wearing a shirt from Equipment France, J Brand jeans, Hudson from Anthology Shoes (super light and comfy! preggy friendly!), Fenton/Fallon cuff

Brought Berry to ballet class then straight to Nina's baby shower wearing a plum jersey t-shirt dress from Vestito, J. Crew necklace, Sigerson Morrison sandals

Yes, you read that right. Berry started ballet classes last week. She was telling me that she wanted to learn ballet since February, and we told her she was too young and that she could start when she gets bigger. But nothing could convince her otherwise. Everyday she would say, "I want to go to ballet school." Not just once, but several times throughout the day. We bought her ballet shoes, just to give in a little, hoping that would be enough, but she loved it so much she wanted to wear them to pre-school too.

This all started when she saw a little girl dancing, wearing a tutu in Vogue and she was copying the little girl. My sisters Dianne and Nicole would teach her positions and she was such an eager student. So Dada said, "Ok! Let's send her to ballet school." I made inquiries and while I was told that they only accepted students 3.5 years and above, I begged that they include Berry because it was her who wanted to go to school and not me, hahaha! They gave in and said she could do a trial class.

Berry was initially intimidated on her first day at ballet class and didn't want to dance, but when we returned that weekend, she went inside the studio without any hesitation and happily followed the moves and steps their teacher taught them! She could follow all instructions at 2 years old. I was misty eyed the whole time watching her, seeing how big our baby has grown. I was prepared to go home after ten minutes, but she finished the class till the end. I was so impressed! So of course, Berry is in, she passed her "audition". She will start once a week lessons from now on and the little girl is thrilled!

Went to the christening of A's twins Anton & Andres wearing a jersey dress from Vestito and Louboutin pumps, accessories from Kenneth Jay Lane, Alexis Bittar and Amrita Singh

My Vestito dresses were a hit amongst my friends, and what's best is that while these are not maternity dresses, they look amazing as pregnancy clothes. Very forgiving on the figure, and can definitely still be worn after Xavi comes out.

Vestito is a local brand owned by my friend Angela Operana-Batoon, and available at The Ramp Crossings in Shangri-la Mall and online at Catalogue63.

For inquiries and updates on new arrivals, add Vestito on Facebook!

Booths Republic

With Berry's birthday coming up in 3 months, I have started thinking of what to do for her third birthday party. This will be Berry's first party in the Philippines so I really was researching on suppliers, having been out of the loop for a while now. Thankfully, Sarah of Booths Republic emailed me a few weeks back telling me about Booths Republic.

Sarah Chan and her sister Lala Tsai are full time working moms who started Booths Republic, a business setting up party booths for kiddie parties. I actually first heard about their venture from Daphne's blog, when they set up uniquely themed booths like iStickers and Photo Balloon booths for Stella's first birthday party, which Daphne said was a hit. Sarah and Lala have since expanded their repertoire with 3D Me, 3D Me Pens and Craft Camp booths.

I like how Sarah & Lala niftily put together an activity/souvenir in one booth, making it a no brainer for parents planning birthday parties. I mean, it keeps the kids occupied, and well, who doesn't enjoy going home with unique, practical and personalized souvenirs right?

iStickers are personalized, waterproof stickers that can withstand washing

These are the iStickers that Sarah sent for me and Berry - I've attached mine on my mobile phone and camera. Still looking for things to stick it to, heehee. Berry loved the Hello Kitty stickers! You can also request for other characters like Angry Birds, Dora, Thomas the Tank Engine, etc. depending on your party's theme. I think kids and adults will both enjoy this!

Craft Camp gets kids involved in decorating inflatable balloon masks to color, decorate and wear.

Craft Camp balloon mask

3D Me dolls are cute and hilarious! I couldn't help but laugh at my 3D Me doll! But, Berry looks cute! Haha! When she saw it, she said, "So, so cute!" While these are best used as bag hangs or accessories for mobile phones, Berry wanted to wear it on her hair!

Booths Republic is also coming out with 3D Me pens, so instead of a doll, your kids get to see their faces on a furry head sticking out like a lollipop on a pen.

Meanwhile, Photo Balloon takes your photograph and prints it on the balloon while you wait. These balloons last up to a year with proper care.

Booth Republic's prices range from Php3,900 to Php9,500 depending on the booth and package you are getting. This is inclusive of the booth, the person manning it, a set number of pieces, the materials needed to get the booth up and running. In short, you have nothing left to worry about. Sounds so easy and a lot of fun no? Now I have to decide on which booth to get for Berry's party! Heehee!

Booths Republic
Sarah Chan / Lala Tsai

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ladies Salt-Water Sandals at Soon Lee

Naomi and I love our Salt-Water sandals and we get a kick out of wearing matching pairs with our daughters. We think Salt-Waters are the perfect summer sandal because there's no need to bring an extra pair of shoes or slippers when the day calls for swimming. Salt-Water sandals are waterproof, and salt water proof, in fact! Hence the name.

I also like wearing my Salt-Water sandals when its raining, especially in rainy Singapore. I don't have to worry about my shoes getting wet in the rain. Much better and dressier than wearing flip flops too!

So I am super happy to share ladies, that Salt-Water sandals in ladies sizes are now available in Singapore at Soon Lee on Haji Lane! So when you are in the Bugis area, and specifically on Haji Lane, make sure to drop by the store!

Soon Lee is the sister store of Rockstar by Soon Lee in Cathay Cineleisure by Orchard Road, on Grange Road. Like Rockstar, Soon Lee is well-curated and filled with great finds from all over.

Girls, get your Salt-Water sandals at Soon Lee this summer! These are going to be your warm and rainy weather wardrobe staple, promise! 

For news and updates on Salt-Water Sandals in Singapore, add Salt-Water Sandals Singapore on FACEBOOK!

Soon Lee
23 Haji Lane
Singapore 189216
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