Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gift idea (for me!): Kate Spade's Places To Go, People To See

I love Kate Spade. I want to be Kate Spade. I like her design aesthetic. I like her clever little clutches. I like her classic but sweet bag designs. I love the line and patterns of her dresses. I love her books. Like I said, I love Kate Spade. I want to be Kate Spade!

So I've been wanting her latest book since I saw it on her website:

Places to Go, People to See. For anyone who loves to travel and dreams of travel. I actually don't like traveling haha. I like my nice, comfy, cozy, pretty little home so much, it takes a LOT to get me out the door. But that's why I love books. I feel like I'm traveling the world anyway!

In Kate Spade's charming book, gorgeous photos fill every page. Remember when glamour ruled travel? No? Then you're young haha. Joking aside, I think this book captures that old-world glamour, the breathtaking anticipation, the captivating sights, the unforgettable experiences of traveling to destinations like Paris, New York City, the Amalfi Coast, Marrakech, Tokyo, and St. Moritz. 
Unlike our mystery tourist, I always travel light.

My weekends now always start on Thursdays, dahlin'!

Must get this book! Or maybe you can stuff it in my stocking!

You can buy Kate Spade's Places To Go, People To See from any of the boutiques located at The Power Plant Mall, Greenbelt 3, Rustan’s Makati, Newport Mall, Shangri-La Plaza Mall and Bonifacio High Street Central Square. It will be available starting December. Buy it for me! I'll wait for it!

*photos courtesy of kate spade new york

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Monday, February 10, 2014

Two weddings, one love

We started 2014 super giddy with love because our dear friends Kat and Pat got married. It was such a love-filled and style-infused wedding! I don't remember attending a wedding where everyone was soooo thrilled and well dressed!

But let me begin with a few details:
Last June, Kat and Pat visited our home to ask Vince and me to be their ninong and ninang sa kasal. We're not much older than the soon-to-be married couple so we were surprised but Kat said that she's inspired by our love story. She also said that, if the time comes when she and Pat would need marriage advice, she wanted it to come from people she actually talks to, not some geriatric people who occupied important positions in society but not in their hearts.

So of course Vince and I said yes! We booked the flights to Cebu, we booked our room at Mövenpick, we bought a navy suit and a gold dress (the wedding colors were navy, gold, blush and cream), and then, on January 2, 2014, we woke up before dawn and flew to Mactan island.
The boys greeted the sun at the airport.
Enjoying the cool sea breezes and diffused bright light at the Mövenpick lobby.
Kat and Pat had toys for the kids so that the boys will be entertained during their stay. So thoughtful!
The grown-ups got fish crackers. Haha, no no, we got a big bag of goodies filled with
maple syrup lollipops, designer grooming products, and bottles of water! 
So after we settled in our room (more about Mövenpick at my mommy blog), we dressed up to go to the chapel wedding. This was the first wedding—only family and ninongs and ninangs. It was a pretty chapel with large windows of green glass. Hehe, now I know what it feels like to be a Sprite or a Mountain Dew!

In the tradition of my wedding posts, I'll just talk about my experience. I don't want to steal the story from the bride. Once Kat settles into married life and gets back to blogging again on Kat Dy Finds, maybe she'll tell you the story of their magical love and enchanting wedding.
I am wearing a tablecloth. No joke. The nun said my wrap dress was indecent and
then gave me a tablecloth to cover myself up LOL
The long lingering first married kiss! 
Gorgeous couple! I love Kat's outfit super!
Everyone's so happy! 
The reception was at La Maison Rose. Such a charming place with really good food! 
Since there was just a handful of us, Kat and Pat sat at every table and chatted with everyone. So intimate!

The next day was the big wedding. It was held at the hotel's garden by the beach. It was truly gorgeous! My goodness, every guest looked like they stepped out of a fashion magazine! I'm sorry I don't have photos here! I'm sure Kat does. I hope she blogs about her wedding soon!

Here comes the bride. Her skirt has a high slit. Really sexy!
The groom was so excited to see his bride. He was literally giddy, clapping and laughing!
Iñigo and I with my fab friends: new beauty blogger Nicole and new mommy Nikki. 
My family. The kids are sick here actually. Poor bunnies.
(Look to the left of the photo. Kat and Pat are so sweet!)
We have a gazillion photos but baka maloka kayo. Vince uploaded a lot on his Facebook account so try making friends with him so you can see the photos haha!

Anyway, after the ceremony, cocktails were served then everyone moved to Ibiza Beach Club, which lies right above the water, for dinner. Oh, the food was divine! Absolutely delicious! The speeches were heartfelt and fun. The newlyweds were hopping from one table to another, engaging everyone in talk, hugs and laughter. This was absolutely the funnest wedding ever! I wish her wedding had been a whole week instead of just two days!

Nic and me at dinner. 
After dinner, the guests all indulged in some really serious dancing. I had to go back to our room because the kids were sick. But I heard the next morning that the dancing lasted way into the night!

Dear Kat and Pat, thank you for inspiring us with your love. Thank you for making me and Vince your ninang and ninong. Thank you for being so relaxed and chill and giddy and totally cool at your wedding. We all felt the celebration! Since it was how our year started, I feel like it's affected the course of 2014—I want my year to be just as loved up and relaxed and stylish and sexy and fun as your wedding was! Cheers!

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Tuesday, April 09, 2013

This is my Philippines

I know a ton of the tourism ads promote our absolutely stunning beaches and other fabulous natural spots. Yes, definitely worth a visit, guys. But I'm not a nature girl and these gorgeous places really don't attract me. But this one, this is my Manila, my Philippines!

I love this country!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Our Sofitel summer staycation

Last week, Vince and I suddenly decided to hie off to Sofitel and escape the terrible heat. We were looking forward to the super sink-in-heaven king bed, the amazing cuisine, and the fantastic pool. The one thing I wasn't looking forward to was the cost (haha). Sofitel's one of the priciest hotels in the city but Vince told me it was his anniversary gift to us so I should stop looking at the cost (which always takes away my enjoyment!) and just scratch the credit card (and whenever my hubby says that, he gets sexier haha!).

We were also anticipating Vito's enjoyment. Last time our son was in the pool was at Shangri-la Mactan (a very hard act to follow) and he seemed to love the pool then so we were hoping for another happy excursion. Well, we were not mistaken! Just lookit that face!

Here's Vito stripped down to his board shorts. He likes trying out his words so here he's saying, "Wa-ker." That's his word for water. He totally loved splashing about the toddler pool. Poor Vince had to stay in the toddler pool, too!

The pool wasn't enough for our Vito. He just had to run around everywhere. He was in full explorer mode. Never mind that the ground was hot--he just sprinted over it even if Vince kept running and I waddled after him, concerned about his baby feet.

The slide's actually for older kids but, back home, the slide at our playground is much higher and he already conquered that so up he went this one. 

Then he went to the sand box. Their sand box is soooo small. Back home again, the sand box is huge. But the sand at Sofitel is beach sand whereas the one at home is construction sand, which hurts the feet. So barefoot Vito had a great time digging away and flinging sand at me.

Here we are exploring while Vince enjoyed a really cold Pale Pilsen (he does not believe in light beers) by the pool. I'm pointing out the helicopters flying overhead at regular intervals. Can anyone tell me why there are so many helicopters flying by this part of the bay?

I had planned on dipping in the pool myself, but since our decision was so sudden, I didn't have time to buy a maternity swimsuit. I figured my bikinis would do but, oh my, I'm so huge now (I'm 9 months pregnant!) that the cloth triangles just couldn't contain me. I was a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen! So I hid my blue bikini under my coral dress and just waded. The cool water was awfully tempting, though!

After our afternoon swim, we retired to our cold room (ah, sweet relief!). We ordered room service because we love room service! Oh, and because we had Vito, a.k.a. the Tasmanian devil, around so a peaceful romantic dinner was never going to be possible.

Vince had lamb chops with mashed potatoes, buttered vegetables and an extra side of potato gratin. I had a bowl of Korean something. It was very good. Vito and I shared the bowl and we still weren't able to finish it--that's how large the serving is!

Sofitel also sent us a surprise! Our own anniversary cake! This cake is pure chocolate delight. Vince, Vito and I enjoyed our surprise dessert. Thanks, Sofitel!

Time for bed! Vito stayed up waaaaaay past his bedtime, so excited was he. But soon, finally, he dozed off. Vince and I had been planning to get romantic--well, no more sex this late in the game so just cuddles!--but we were so tired from our swim and Vito-chasing that we just lazed about in bed. Sofitel's beds are soooo comfortable. The best hotel beds ever. Except that since my body is so heavy now, I had little panic attacks--I felt like I was sinking too much!

Another thing that prevented me from sleeping was the event at the tent outside (Sofitel has two huge tents). OMG. For what felt like forever, the performers at said event just blared away singing. The speakers were on full blast so that it felt like the singers were standing on our balcony. With megaphones. But finally, the event finished and Vince and I slipped into blissful sleep.

The next day was buffet breakfast! Too bad the famous Spiral restaurant was closed for a major renovation. It was devastated by Typhoon Pedring late last year, so we all had to line up at Le Bar. The food's still amazing, of course, but Le Bar is like a fourth in size as Spiral so the line was long. And I'm the kind of person who gets pressured by lots of people waiting so I scarfed down my breakfast. It would've been nice to just sit back and savor my coffee.

Anyway, after Vito's morning nap, off to the pool we went again!

Vito's wearing a special diaper meant for swimming. If you want to win one for your kid, click here!

So there! We had a wonderful time. Well, we were beyond exhausted, too. It's hard to have a super active toddler tagging along. I don't even know why Vince and I thought we'd have some time alone to celebrate our fifth anniversary. So it's a good thing we already had some special time on the day itself. But we don't regret anything--Vito may have been the focus of our little getaway that was supposed to be our mini-honeymoon but he was also the big reason why we had so much fun. It's nice to be a family. It really truly is.

Friday, April 13, 2012

10 ways to travel in style, with inspiration from Emmy Rossum

Summer time, travel time. Everyone's Facebook updates and Tweets are all about where they went during the long break and where they're going to next. My little family and I had a staycation. We always stay in the city during Holy Week, especially this year with my advanced pregnancy! Oh, we totally loved the quiet of Manila. But... I've been itching to leave the city for a good long while now. And when I saw Emmy Rossum's travel outfit, I felt the itch even more!

That's how I usually look when I travel. A comfy outfit but one that will get me through immigration without experiencing that judgmental look immigration officials just love to give people. The first time I traveled abroad, I was so scared I'd be sent back home--I was a young, single Filipina traveling alone. Supposedly, that sets off alarms with immigration officials. You're either looking for a foreigner husband or you're a prostitute. Grrr! And, I was told, we Pinays don't help because we dress like slobs when we travel. Or we dress in skimpy outfits.

"So what should I wear?" I wailed. Here are the tips I got:
  1. Wear comfortable clothes. But not too comfy, like mini-skirts, pajamas, ratty shirts and jeans, and the like. Emmy's look is a great example. I also like a tailored shift dress or a jersey wrap dress--it's wrinkle-free and easy to lift when I need to go to the tiny plane loo. 
  2. Dark jeans that have a great fit can pass off as slacks. See how Emmy's navy jeans look almost formal.
  3. Always bring a tailored jacket or blazer. Toss this on and it instantly upgrades your outfit. Just look at how Emmy's red jacket makes her jeans-and-tee ensemble extraordinary!
  4. Your shoes should be comfortable, the type that won't hurt your feet when you're navigating through huge airports. But don't wear slippers.
  5. Don't wear shoes that are hard to take off. Emmy's lace-up oxfords is an example.
  6. Wear your jewelry. Real gold doesn't set off the metal detector. Jewelry isn't safe in your luggage. You'll look better (and richer!) with jewelry on. Check out Emmy's big earrings!
  7. Don't wear metal. Like belts with big buckles. Emmy didn't wear a belt at all.
  8. Be well groomed--powder, lipstick, mascara, whatever. Not too much (you have to look like your passport photo). See how Emmy looks so clean and fresh and respectable? That's what good grooming looks like. People treat well-groomed travelers better. 
  9. Hairstyle should be clean and unfussy. A low ponytail or bun is manageable and won't get in the way when you lean your head back on the seat's headrest.
  10. Your tote should be big enough to hold your travel documents, money and mini toiletries, like a hand sanitizer, a toothbrush, lotion, whatever you need to freshen up after a long flight. Plus, there should also be room for a scarf in case the plane gets cold. And a book--always travel with a book! I like Emmy's basic black bag. It's structured yet roomy!
So there you have it! Now you know my travel style tips! What are yours?

*photo from VPQV

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Need to escape this heat

In Tagaytay in 2010
I never imagined I'd be typing out that title in the middle of November. By this time usually, the cool weather has descended and everyone's taken out their cardigans and sweaters and scarves and jackets. My uniform this time of the year is usually a dress with opaque tights and a cardi, or jeans and tee with a scarf wrapped around my neck. This year? My dress code is various states of undress!

Well, that's global warming for you. Scary. Sad. Especially since I have to think about what kind of future my kids will have to see!

As for now, all I want to do is escape to a cooler clime. Actually, earlier this month, I had wanted to hit the beach so that I can spend the days with a good reason to be nearly naked. But the sun, oh the sun, it's just too hot! So I've been thinking of either Baguio or Tagaytay.

The last time I visited Baguio was a disaster. Vince and I had met in Baguio in 1999 and went back for a trip down memory lane. I booked us a room in this awful hotel that Lonely Planet had recommended as a good place to stay. I never believed Lonely Planet from then on! Our room had cardboard walls and a bare light bulb. The bathroom's walls didn't reach the ceiling so if you had to do No. 2, well, let's just say we had to go outside and leave the room's door open! There was no hot water (in freezing Baguio!) and, oh wait, there was actually no running water at certain hours of the day.

The last time I went to Tagaytay was for my friend Nikki's wedding. Vince and I stayed at this lovely boutique inn that unfortunately also had thin walls. We were kept up by the owners' kid and friends partying the night away. I was pregnant with Vito then so I was hormonal so I complained very angrily.

So now I guess I want to go back to one or both cities to make happier memories! But since my pregnancy is a bit delicate, Baguio is not an option for now. So I'm looking at Tagaytay. Someone told me that since I have a family, I'm better off renting a log cabin so I Googled some rentals and found these cabins at Tagaytay Highlands:

I can see it now: cold nights, the smell of pine in the air, the cacophony of crickets, then Vince and Vito and I wrapped in warm blankets, feet propped up on rustic log furniture, sipping hot cocoa, reading or chatting or tickling each other.

Sigh! Just looking at those photos already makes me feel better. I wish we can escape the city! Some of my friends have actually made plans to spend Christmas somewhere cold--either Sagada and Tagaytay or abroad in Hong Kong. I am so envious! It would be so lovely to get away from this terrible heat!

*log cabin photos from here.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

My Nuffnang Story

A lot of people ask me how I earn money through blogging. Well, I earn most of my blogging income from Nuffnang. I joined Nuffnang in 2008, soon after my mother died. Mama's death had completely wiped us out financially so I was looking for ways to make more money and Nuffnang was recommended by my friend, Jennie of Marriage and Beyond.

At first, there was just a tiny trickle of blogging income coming in (so I was very relieved when the company I work for gave me a big raise in early 2009!), but after a few months with Nuffnang, things started getting very interesting! So without further ado, here are...

My Top 10 Reasons for Loving Nuffnang

10. I got a free trip to Singapore!
On the Singapore Flyer with fellow bloggers
 In 2009, Nuffnang invited me to join the first ever Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards in Singapore. I was shy to go since I didn't know anyone on the trip but I packed my bags, kissed my hubby good-bye (with tons of melodramatic tears), and then met some of the most fascinating people in Asia!

I learned so much about blogging from that trip. The most important lesson? That you can earn SO MUCH MONEY! I remember my jaw dropping and my eyes going very wide when some of the bloggers I met (some just barely out of college) told me they just bought a car or quit their job all because of the money they earned from blogging. As soon as I got home, I told Vince, "I'm taking this blogging thing seriously from now on dammit! Those kids are earning more money than I ever dreamed of!"

On our way to the awards ceremony (I'm the girl in far right)
So, obviously, I want to go to the second Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards! This time, it's in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On Dec. 16, 500 bloggers from all over the Asia-Pacific region will be invited to a lovely weekend stay at the Putrajaya Marriott. The awards ceremony will again honor the the region's best bloggers and bring together the blogging communities so that we can all learn from each other. Plus, the lucky bloggers get a free tour of the city! The event is sponsored by Volkswagen Malaysia and Putrajaya Marriott, and if you want to win an exclusive invitation to the event, click here!

And please nominate your favorite bloggers (ahem! ahem!) for the awards!

9. I won a Gucci bag!
Nuffnang has a lot of contests. Their partners are always willing to raffle off really cool stuff like gadgets, and in my case, happily, a designer bag! I won the Confessions of a Shopaholic contest and the prize was a limited edition Gucci shoppers tote. So do check out Nuffnang's exciting array of contests (I think there's one a week!)

8. I always get tons of goodies!
Here are just a few:
I've also gotten beauty products and fabric conditioners. I know I've gotten more but I just can't remember them all! So much stuff!

7. I get invited to lots of exciting events.
Nuffnang never seems to run out of stuff to offer their bloggers! There's always a beauty launch here, a fashion show there, a movie screening now, a field trip tomorrow. I sometimes wish I wasn't so busy so I can attend them all!

6. I met celebrities!
Alodia's the girl with the backpack.
Alodia Gosiengfiao at the Asia-Pacific Blog Awards at Singapore. Alodia is so cute and shy and talented. There are no airs, no snottiness, no spoiled brat-ness.

Solenn is the girl who forgot to put on a shirt!
Solenn Heusaff at Neutrogena Fine Fairness Ambassadors launch. Well, all I can say is she's sexy. And very sweet to fans. But she looked very uncomfortable the entire time at the event, like she was very scared. I dunno why!

Iza Calzado at the Myra-E event that launched her as their new model. Funnily enough, to me, Iza is not a celebrity, even though she's one of the hottest stars in the country. That's because I can never erase the image of little 5-year-old Izadora following us, her cousins, everywhere, saying, "I can dance! Want to see me dance? Please watch me dance!"

5. I earn money!
I almost forgot that that's the reason I joined Nuffnang in the first place! How's the income, you ask? Well, Nuffnang's been very generous with giving me assignments and you'd have noticed some of them because they're marked as "sponsored posts" (for example, you all loved the Mango post, which was not just fun to do but was also paid for!).

I'd earn more if I accepted all their proposals but I only take on brands I believe in, use or want. But as it is, I've already earned lots of shopping money! Thanks, Nuffnang!

4. I gained new friends.
That's Shen of Shen's Addiction on top and Nikki Tiu of AskMeWhats. They are just two of the wonderful bloggers I've met at the events Nuffnang keeps throwing for us. I'm so glad I joined this blogging community because I've been forced to go out and meet fellow bloggers. You see, if you're a blogger, obviously you spend a lot of time in front of a computer so there's not much of a social life there for bloggers. But because of Nuffnang's plethora of events and activities, I've met some of the most wonderful people ever!

3. Nuffnang believed in my non-blogging ventures.
One of the very first people who bought my satchels is from Nuffnang! Trixie Esguerra is the talent manager of Nuffnang and I never expected that we'd have a friendship. I'm very careful to keep my professional relationship, well, professional. But Trixie is, like the rest of the Nuffies, so much fun and bubbly and makulit, that you can't help but adore her. Plus, she was one of the very first who bought my satchel and mega promoted my bag business! She didn't have to but she did. Thanks, Trixie!

2. Nuffnang supports good causes.
It's not all freebies with Nuffnang. One of the best out-of-my-comfort-zone experiences I've ever had was when we visited Sunshineville in Las Pinas. We met a thriving community of homeowners, working happily for a better life. It was really refreshing to see how giving jobs to people makes them confident, happy, proud. That exposure was the first time I decided I wanted to be an entrepreneur since I saw that it isn't charity dole-outs that help people at all.

Nuffnang also makes sure its bloggers get an education. By this, I mean free classes to everything from cooking to financial freedom. I've been wanting to attend their cooking classes at Enderun but weekends are yaya-less so I haven't had the opportunity. But I'm glad I was able to attend the Philam Life financial planning class. I learned so much! I bought a mutual fund investment plan soon after that session (but with a different insurance provider. Oops!)

1. Nuffnang cares about their bloggers.
The first people who visited me when I gave birth to Vito were Nuffies. Thanks, Anne Franco and Carlos Palma. You got to the hospital with flowers and gifts way before my own family and friends did! To say I was surprised is an understatement. Vince said, after you left, "Wow. You must really mean a lot to Nuffnang." I don't think I'm special that way; I think Nuffnang really just treats their bloggers like family.

And that's why I'm glad I joined Nuffnang. I earned not just money, but a wealth of experiences and a lot of new friends. And family. I have my Nuffnang family. For that alone, I am very grateful.

This is my official entry to the Nuffnang Asia-Pacific Blog Awards 2011. To join, click here.