Monday, December 29, 2014

Thank You, 2014!

At the end of the year, I always do some self-reflection and create goals for the next year. In fact, at the start of the year, I made it a goal to blog at least once a month. Goal achieved! Midyear, I became more dedicated to blogging (also because I had much more free time on my hands) and soon enough, I actually stuck to a blogging schedule. So join me as I look back on the highlights of my 2014.

JANUARY
Welcomed the new year timidly bracing for the life-changing events that I knew were going to come.
Hello, 2014!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Reason For The Season

Today's outfit shots were taken at Cebu Grand Convention Center after I enjoyed a hearty dinner buffet. It cost P650 per head, but with my tiny frame, I don't think I ever get my money's worth at any buffet. Don't get me wrong, I eat a LOT. I eat so much that people who don't know me are always shocked at how much I eat. However, I can't eat so much in one sitting. But I sort of get hungry every 2 hours. So basically, I eat frequently but you can't overload me with too much food at one time. Okay, I don't know why I just explained my eating habits to you all. On to the outfit, shall we?

Royal Blue Flounce Skirt from Forever 21

Monday, December 15, 2014

Zalora Basic Shirt Dress

I heard about www.zalora.com.ph quite a while ago but what really lured me to make my first purchase was this basic shirt dress. I've been looking for this classic closet staple for a long time now and found that the ones I've come across were always overpriced. So when I found this piece for only P899 at Zalora, I decided to finally give in. And I absolutely love this dress! So expect to see this around the blog again in the future.
Dress - Zalora, Shoes - Primadonna (old but you can also find this brand HERE)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Prom Dresses That Are Also Perfect For The Holidays


I just discovered this online shop (www.avivadress.co.uk) with an amazing collection of prom dresses! With prom season approaching and the holidays already in our midst, I thought it would be perfect to show you how you can maximize the use of these beautiful dresses for those grand Christmas and New Year’s parties as well. Depending on the theme of your prom or grad ball or formal Christmas party, you're sure to find a dress perfect for you. Here are my choices below:

BLACK AND WHITE
No doubt about it, black is a classic. You can never go wrong. So while everyone else is clad in skintight, body-hugging black dresses, why not go for this empire strapless black chiffon long prom dress? Nothing says “goddess” better than an empire silhouette. Hair up or hair down, doesn’t matter, you should change your name to Aphrodite, really.

Shop this dress HERE.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Weekend at Shangri-la's Mactan Resort and Spa

Today's post features last weekend's stay in Shangri-la's Mactan Resort and Spa, which we were able to avail at a promo rate of P6,500 per room - buffet breakfast for two included. This is a photo diary, and not an actual review, because really, what hasn't already been said about this prestigious, 4.5-star hotel in Cebu?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cebu: Caffe Dara and Cafe Talk

Cebu is now full of Korean cafes and I'm no stranger to them. I've already written about Cafe Tiala and Cafe Noriter and even though I didn't particularly find those experiences exceptional, I somehow found myself hanging out with friends in two more Korean cafes. The cute ambiance they always come with somehow lures you in effectively.

First up, Caffe Dara. Located in Lahug's restaurant filled area, simply enter the corner where Pizza Republic is located and turn left in the next corner, and you'll find this cozy and tiny cafe. Unfortunately, only one car can park in front of the cafe. Otherwise, you'll have to park in the streets a block away.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tropical Burgundy

While the majority of the blogosphere is in the midst of Fall or Winter, I am left to ogle at the beautiful layered outfits everyone has been donning. What's a girl in a tropical country to do? Satiate my burgundy lust in forever-summer style, of course!
Top - Maldita, Skort - Online buy, Sandals - Forever 21, Bag - Nine West

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cebu Restaurants: Arano's

I don't know if it's just me but it seems like there are only a few restaurants in Cebu that specialize in Spanish cuisine. Compared to its more commercialized counterparts, I'm betting that the majority of the city population actually do not know where to find Arano's.

Simply drive to the Guadalupe area until you reach Guadalupe Elementary School. Across from that, you will see a very small corner, with a large sign that says, "FAIRLANE VILLAGE." Enter, turn right, and go straight. On the right side, you will find a small door with a small signage.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hello Kitty Kawaii

I wasn't really planning on taking outfit photos on this day but I spotted this cute car in a basement parking lot adorned with Hello Kitty stickers!

How cute is that? If the owner of this car ever comes across this blog post.. Hiiii, I hope you don't mind? :)
Hello Kitty car not mine. Credits to the owner. Skirt and sandals from Forever 21.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Ilocos/Laoag/Vigan Trip Itinerary and Budget Breakdown


I've frequently received questions regarding how much we spent on our Ilocos trip. So I've decided to do a quick breakdown of our itinerary and expenses for everyone's reference.

First off, I'm from Cebu so we booked a Cebu-Manila flight, and another Manila-Laoag flight. Although most agencies will offer pick-up from Manila, we didn't want to endure a looooonngg drive since a short plane ride is so much more convenient. We booked our round trip tickets in January even though we had planned an August trip.
Cebu Pacific Promo fare total round trip tickets per person - approximately P3,000


I then booked our trip with J2F Ilocos Escapades and got an unbelievably affordable deal. The more people there are in your group, the cheaper it is. The package tour was customized for us and was inclusive of 3 days, 3 nights hotel stay (don't expect a luxurious hotel, you're only there to sleep and bathe anyway), breakfast, transportation, driver/tour guide and all entrance fees.
Package Tour w/ J2F Ilocos Escapades - P2,500/person

Because we booked a promo fare, the schedule wasn't the most convenient. We had almost one whole day in Manila as we arrived in the morning, with our Manila-Laoag flight in the evening. Check out how we spent that extra time in this post HERE. (What To Do When You Have Spare Time in Manila) As soon as we arrived in Laoag, the driver picked us up and brought us to our hotel.
Manila Stay (Movie, Lunch, Snacks, Dinner, Excluding Shopping)  + Driver tip - P1,250
Note: One of our friends had a family car and driver in Manila so we saved on taxi fare.

DAY 1 
Check out what we did on Day 1 in my separate posts here:
Fort Ilocandia
Archery at Fort Ilocandia

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Iron Man Muscle

"Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk." ~ Tony Stark

Iron Man Muscle Tee - Forever 21; Skirt - Cotton On; Bag - Pull & Bear; Sports bra - Forever 21; Watch - G Shock borrowed from the boyfriend

Monday, October 27, 2014

Spikes and Flowers

The title of this post reminds me of the time I was part of our company outing's "Miss Aloha" beauty pageant. It was all spontaneous and just for fun, not a real pageant. During the Q&A, I got the question, "If you were a flower, what would you be and why?" So I answered, "I would be a rose with all its thorns - beautiful, but able to somehow protect itself from harm. Because I believe as a woman, beauty does not only lie on the outward appearance but also from within, and I choose to be beautiful with power and strength as well."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ditch The Skirts and Dresses


Ever feel like taking a (fashion) break? Today, I'm taking a break from all the skirts and dresses.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Cebu Restaurants: Tazza Cafe and Patisserie


New restaurants have been sprouting up all over the Lahug area and you can't miss this quaint little cafe across Fujinoya. While the parking up front is very limited, you are allowed to park at the Tsai hotel's basement parking area. I've already visited Tazza Cafe and Patisserie twice. First on a Saturdate and next, because I was able to purchase a Groupon voucher (yey 50% off!).

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Miss Pink

I was always a typical girly girl whose favorite color was pink. Back when I was a lot younger, I think I overdosed on pink as EVERYTHING just had to be pink, or purple, or something cute and pretty with butterflies on it. I don't know how it happened but over the years, pink has taken a backseat and I find that there are hardly any pink items in my closet now. And I miss it.
Top, inner cami, necklace - Forever 21, Shoes - CLN

Friday, October 3, 2014

TRAVEL: Apo Island - Swimming with Turtles


Before the summer ended last May, we were able to squeeze in a trip to Dumaguete. On our second day there, we ventured off to Apo Island, Dauin, Negros Oriental, which is known as a good dive spot and is also famous for the sea turtles. To get there, you need to drive 1-2 hours from Dumaguete proper until you reach the drop off point where you can park your car, and ride a pump boat to the island. Fortunately, one of our friends lives in Dumaguete and booked the boat beforehand.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Maximize

Top - Forever 21, Skirt - What A Girl Wants, Shoes - CMG, Clutch and Earrings - SM Accessories, Watch - Kenneth Cole
I was off to attend a wedding dinner reception at Marco Polo and I honestly had no idea what to expect from the event since the couple already had a lavish beach wedding and reception in Boracay a couple days before. (Check out what I wore to the beach wedding here.) I also had no idea what the dress code was. But since the venue was a prestigious hotel, I figured that I'd maximize with a maxi. (See what I did with the word play there? Harhar.) Like I said in the beach wedding post, I love how maxi skirts can go from casual to formal depending on how you style it.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Boracay 2014

I was in Boracay this month to attend my friend's beach wedding. (See what I wore to the beach wedding here.) The morning before the wedding though, we got to enjoy the beach. I have been to quite a few beaches around Cebu and even around L.A., as well as the also well-loved Malapascua and Bantayan Island, but I swear, nothing compares to Boracay's clear waters and the softest sand. Larger text and bold letters for emphasis. The sand is just that soft.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mesh




Black and white will forever be my favorite color (or lack thereof) combination and I'm sure many will share the same sentiment. Pairing black with white is a no brainer that will instantly make you look "classy."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ocean Kisses The Shore

On the last minute, my friends and I decided to fly to Boracay to attend our friend's beach wedding and since I neither had the time nor the budget to shop for a beach wedding outfit, I rummaged my closet to put something together.

I wanted the look to be romantic and comfortable - we would be on the beach after all. Wasn't sure how formal the event was so I decided to play it safe by wearing a sheer slitted maxi skirt and a flowy tank top. I love how maxi skirts can pass as casual and formal depending on how you style it.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Cebu: One Claypot House

Top - Oxygen, Skirt - Online buy
One Claypot House has been on our bucketlist of new Cebu restaurants that we wanted to try. They used to be a tiny restaurant near Capitol with no visible parking area but they moved to this place near Holiday Spa, which appeared to have only a couple parking slots in front but on the right, hidden from immediate view, is actually a much bigger than expected parking space.

First off, the interior was fabulous.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Met Ramos, Veinticinco

A few months ago, a friend of ours, Met Ramos, threw a photo exhibition to celebrate 25 years of existence and her talent in photography. The photos, displayed on sintra boards, were not for sale and were for display only. The best thing about the event was that although it was created to celebrate Met Ramos, she made sure that the event pointed to God instead. The program included prayers and special praise song numbers from her friends and church choir. May God bless her even more. <3

Friday, August 29, 2014

Sandboarding at La Paz Sand Dunes

On the last day of our Ilocos adventure, we got up at 6 AM and went straight to La Paz Sand Dunes. I've read that the best time to go on this adventure is at 6-10 AM or after 4 PM so that the sun is not too scorching hot.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bangui Windmills, Hannah's Pagudpud Beach

We had a glimpse of what the Ilocos windmills look like when we went to Kapurpurawan Rock Formation but the actual Bangui Windmills look much bigger and more awesome.

Forever 21 top, SM GTW scallop shorts, People are People sandals

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kapurpurawan Rock Formation

The Manila airport has framed photos of the Kapurpurawan Rock Formation captured at sunset. It was the perfect teaser to get us more excited as we were waiting to board our Manila-Laoag flight.

The Kapurpurawan Rock Formation was part of our Day 2 itinerary thanks to J2F Ilocos Travel and Tours

After visiting Cape Bojeador Lighthouse, the iconic rock formations were our next stop. 





Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse


  


Can I just say, it's so convenient to be able to just blog about my travel experience rather than painstakingly using a pen to write a handwritten travel diary? Much easier.

Day 2 of our Ilocos adventure begins. Compared to Day 1 where we went to Fort IlocandiaCalle Crisologo, Vigan, and several other Ilocos stopovers, our itinerary for Day 2 was much more relaxed. 

Our first stop was Cape Bojeador. Like the rest of Ilocos, Cape Bojeador had a rustic, historical (dating to the Spanish colonial period) feel that's perfect for photos.


Calle Crisologo, Vigan

I've seen so many photos of this beautiful place and so I knew that I wanted to catch sunset here as the lighting would make the photos even more beautiful.

But the weather wasn't cooperating, it was a rainy, gloomy day, and we were too tired to stand and wait as we had already spent the day exploring Fort Ilocandia, and other Laoag and Vigan stopovers
(thanks to J2F Ilocos Escapades for organizing our trip).

You KNOW once you have reached Heritage Village and Calle Crisologo as there's no other area quite like it. It was quite amusing to spot modern/new franchises like Mang Inasal and Max's Restaurant redesigned to fit into this street. All the buildings here are not allowed to exceed two stories high and they must all have the Filipino olden times feel.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Malacanang of the North, Paoay Church, Marcos Photo Gallery, Sinking Bell Tower

After we've had our fill of fun at Fort Ilocandia, off we went to the rest of our stopovers for our Laoag tour.

One of the great things about booking with J2F Ilocos Travel & Tours was that all our entrance fees were already included in the package. We didn't have to shell out money for every single museum we went to. Saves you from the hassle, eh?

Here are more places we went to on Day 1 of our Ilocos tour:

1. Malacanang of the North

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Laoag, Ilocos Norte: Fort Ilocandia

Lately, reading blogs before traveling to a place is a prerequisite for me. They're always so honest and informative in a way that typical travel sites just aren't.

This was my first time booking a travel package tour so even though my friend referred me to J2F Ilocos Travel & Tours, I was a bit apprehensive. Paranoid questions like, "What if this is a scam?" would of course pop up. But they only asked for a P1,500 downpayment (for the whole group tour) and no scammer would go for that small an amount, right?

So book the tour I did and I'm soooo glad I chose to book with them. The package tour was both extremely convenient and budget friendly, I totally recommend.

Our driver slash tour guide picked us up from the airport (we had an evening flight), and we checked in at the hotel. The next morning, the guide picked us up at 7:30 AM and off we went for adventure Day 1. Our first stop: FORT ILOCANDIA.

Top - Forever 21, Skort - Vetus Shop, Shoes - Cotton On, Bag - Pull & Bear


Thursday, August 14, 2014

What To Do When You Have Spare Time in Manila

Booking cheap, promo flights mean you can't really be choosy with flight schedules. Our flight from Cebu to Manila was 8:30 AM while our Manila to Laoag flight was at 7 PM which gave us approximately 6 hours free (when you deduct the time that we're supposed to be back at the airport). It was the same story during the travel going home. So we chose to spend the time at the closest big mall, SM Mall of Asia.

Of course, we had to:
1. dine in a restaurant that hasn't invaded Cebu yet. So we were able to satisfy Kenny's craving for authentic Japanese ramen at Ramen Nagi. It seems they only have 4 choices of ramen - but these are customizable as you can fill up the checklist according to your preference. Since I love spicy food, I chose the Red King ramen and since I'm no ramen expert, opted to only check "beef" then the rest would be according to the "chef's recommendation." It was delicious. Expensive, but delicious. It's a big bowl too, so you won't go hungry. Had a taste of my friend's black ramen and uuuhhh.. it was just a little too weird and salty for me.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Waiting for Gold


I've had this sheer, nude cropped top with gold beaded details for so long, I fear that it lay in my closet for half a year or more. I kept waiting for the right occasion to wear it and felt that the occasions that came or the venues that accompanied them were too casual or too glam for this piece of gold. Finally decided to throw it on over an LBD for my birthday even though we were headed to very relaxed venues.

Friday, July 25, 2014

26, The Age To Make Life-changing Decisions

It is perfectly normal and expected for people to grow up and move on and take the next step in life.

But I still find it stunning how one after the other, my peers have resigned from their jobs, embarked on a new career, moved to a different country or got engaged. It appears 26 is the age to make huge, life-changing decisions.

Personally, I think this is because we underwent the so-called "quarter life crisis" the previous year(s). At 25, we've asked ourselves so many troubling (the trouble was probably self-inflicted) questions such as, "Should I keep working at this company forever?", "Is now the time to get married?", "Where is my place in this world?", "What career should I pursue that will support me and my family in the long run?"

Perhaps in the midst of dwelling on whatever dilemma we've placed upon ourselves, we discover some answers. And after the answers, we formulate plans. Then at 26, we're ready to take that giant leap of faith.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Gloomy Weather

Today, I'm feeling cold and gloomy, just like the weather. Maybe the weather's got me down or maybe I'm PMS-ing.

Although I've got a cool and easy-going enough personality, I've never liked unanswered questions or situations where I am not fully prepared regarding what to expect. I may not be obsessive compulsive in a way that I have to have detailed step-by-step plans, but I always have to ensure my success by assessing my success rate beforehand and always having a back-up plan (and back-up plans for my back-up plans).

I can be adventurous enough but I also love my comfort zones. Taking a risk or a leap of faith is quite frightening. But these are musts in life. You can't stay in your comfort zone forever. Or else you won't get anywhere.

But for today, I'd just like to hug and cuddle.. maybe it's the gloomy weather. Maybe.
Plaid polo from H&M, jeans from Forever 21, shoes from Cotton On

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cebu: Pizza Republic

I fear that all other pizza has lost a little sparkle for me now that Pizza Republic is here. I think that I could even go as far as to say that it may possibly be the best pizza I've ever tasted.

Unfortunately, Cebu is still so extremely hyped up about it that I don't think I'll be visiting again anytime soon. I braved the crazy long line twice already. And that was before they even had a grand opening. Talk about a very successful start. Will definitely visit again sometime though. Maybe at an unusual hour so that there's less people.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Bucket Shrimps

I don't know why it took me so long to try out Bucket Shrimps, which is located near the Capitol area, only a short drive from home. Probably because the people closest to me sort of scoff at the thought of paying for overpriced shrimp when you can cook it at home easily at just a fraction of the cost.

A bucket of shrimp at P350 and you can choose what flavor you want it in. We ordered one in Cajun and another in Curry. My friends preferred the Cajun one while I, a curry lover, ate more of the one in curry sauce.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cebu: Circa 1900

Last Easter Sunday, my friends and I decided to have lunch after church. We ventured off in search of this new restaurant, Circa 1900. It was perfectly easy to find, just enter the corner next to the JY Square Jollibee branch, go straight, and you can't miss the grand restaurant that looks like a Spanish era mansion that got a makeover.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Cebu: Sunday 2 PM and Bar Tea More

The BFF and I were off to have some snacks after a well-deserved pedicure session so we drove to Sarossa hotel (where we parked) and had two choices: Sunday 2 PM or Bar Tea More? And since we both haven't tried either yet, we decided to share a dish in each cafe.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Cebu: Fitfast Circuit Training




In our pursuit for fitness, my friends and I tried out Fitfast's circuit training. They're located at Escario which is pretty convenient and they have adequate parking space too.

The best thing about it is that they have coaches to guide you and instruct you - what to do, how many reps you're supposed to do and they also encourage you too. They start you off with a warm up, and man, even the warm up is enough to get you tired. Haha. And then, we got to try different routines like lifting kettle balls, push-ups, and all those fun and stressful stuff.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Magical World


2 years, 1 month, and 3 days.. and I feel like I have been through earthquakes, typhoons, and a lot of other undisclosed scary things.. and it is because I HAVE been through quite a lot.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Creperie Paris in Cebu

Found out about this new place in Cebu that supposedly makes "authentic" crepes. And since the restaurant we were supposed to go to was jam-packed that night, I grabbed the opportunity to drag our friends along in my hunt for Creperie Paris.

It was easy enough to find. I gave our friends this direction and they found it easy to understand: If you're coming from Capitol, take the road that passes by Coco Mall (building with Red Ribbon). Instead of turning right to Baseline, turn left. Keep looking at the left side and you can find Creperie Paris along the corner.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Cafe Tiala Cebu

I am now back to my hyper I-wanna-go-try-every-new-restaurant-in-Cebu self.

So it was perfect timing when I saw a friend's Instagram picture of Cafe Tiala and read about it on iluvcebu on the same day. Iluvcebu described it as a princess-themed place that makes you feel like royals. Of course, "cute" and "princess" would automatically lure me. Haha.

So on a fine Sunday afternoon, my ever supportive boyfriend and I drove over to find Cafe Tiala. So easy to find too. For fellow Cebuanos, here's the best directions ever: "right next to Grand Convention, that building with the yogurt place." You can't miss it with those directions in mind. ;)


Monday, March 31, 2014

Advertising Does Wonders

Whoa! Only now realized that March is already ending and I haven't blogged about anything this month yet. March whizzed past me.

And here I am blogging about something that happened in February.

Well what's there more to write about Sunnies by Charlie opening in SM City Cebu when it's already been all over social media?

Well let me say this: ADVERTISING DOES WONDERS.

You most definitely can reap benefits from investing in advertising and promoting your brand.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

Love At The Top

A week before Valentine's and we still didn't know where we were headed. A friend suggested that we try Castle Peak hotel's Love At The Top promo and since all the other restos I wanted to go to for Valentines were already full, I figured, why not? I'm not a crazy one to go out on the eve of Valentines without a reservation.

It was P699/head for the Love At The Top dinner at the rooftop. Almost backed out since you had to pay for the reservation and email a copy of the proof of payment beforehand. Hassle. On the actual day however, we found that there were a lot of walk-ins and there was more than enough room to accommodate them. Oh well.

They had two schedules: 6:00-7:30 PM and 8:00-9:30 PM. We chose the earlier schedule of course. We got there an hour early since we had nothing else planned. And I needed a lot of distraction since I was feeling quite depressed as my younger brother left the country earlier that day.

We got to enjoy the view and take OOTDs and selfies with not many people there to watch!

Dress from Oxygen, Shoes from So Fab