Monday, October 31, 2011

Today, I am loving...

Today, I am loving... Boo, a dog dubbed as the "world's cutest dog" with 2.2M Facebook fans. Isn't he absolutely adorable?

Our puppy, one of the subjects of my free verse here, is a Pom too and I wonder if it's possible to cut her hair so she can look like Boo? Gosh, Boo has reached Bieber and Rachel-of-Friends status already! I wonder how many Poms are going to pet salons these days asking for Boo's hairstyle?

Today, I am awww-ing... at how cute Boo is. Today, I am loving... the idea of Poms asking for Boo's haircut at the pet salon.

Photos from here and here.

Click here for previous posts from the Today, I am loving... series.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

my farm-to-table pumpkin experience

Two Halloweens ago, I went pumpkin-picking in New Jersey. It was surreal enough to see real pumpkins since we don't grow pumpkins in the Philippines, what more a whole field of them! For some reason, these enormous orange fruits just made me smile!

This inconspicuous sign (we were lucky we noticed it!) on the side of the apple-cider-store barn really cracked me up!

Then the pumpkin-carving began...

And voila! Mine is the third from the left. Was obviously the amateur -- I didn't cut the "holes" big enough so my pumpkin had the dimmest light. But my pumpkin turned out pretty cute, right? I can't help smile when I see its Cachupoy "hair" [Cachupoy was a famous Filipino comedian whose trademark was sporting hair parted in the middle]. 

These would be perfect for tonight when we turn out our lights at 8pm for our family's monthly earth hour (see related post here), which Isabella so responsibly reminds us of every 30th.

For those of you going trick-or-treating tonight, Happy Halloween!

Photos are all my own. How-To layout by moi.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

some polka dots i spotted...

I love color. I cannot imagine life without color. I cannot imagine not being able to see all colors. So I did some research on color blindness.

Here are some images from the Ishihara Color Blindness Test.

Can you see the number 8?
Those with red-green color vision deficiencies read this as 3 and
those with total color blindness cannot read any numeral.

Do you see a 5 or a 3?
A red-green deficiency will make you see a 3.

The normal read is 29.
Those with red-green deficiencies will read this as 70.

The normal read is 74.
Those with red-green deficiencies read this as 21.

And if you see the number 45 in that first image above, you might have color vision deficiencies. Those with normal color vision and total color blindness cannot read any numeral.

Since I learned that I have normal color vision, I started to wonder what color blind people see. It would be such a pity if they saw the world in black and white! My research taught me that "color blindness" is a misnomer. Everyone sees in color. Some just see colors differently: the most common being unable to tell red from green. In case you want to see what they see, check out this site. Colors are different and not as vibrant, but they're color nevertheless! :)

Oh, and for the designers out there, maybe this design tip will help you: Design and optimize everything in black and white. Only add color at the end. This will ensure that everyone can use your design.

Photos from here.

Click here for previous posts from the Some Polka Dots I Spotted series.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Color Obsession: pink

Before National Breast Cancer Awareness Month ends, let me share with you some pretty images of pinkness.

Detected early, breast cancer is 98% curable. Yes, 98% curable. So have yourself checked today and every October after!

And since am on the subject, sharing this link from Harper's Bazaar on how to wear pink. My faves are Victoria Beckham's pink shift and the Mulberry pink satchel!

Photos from i'mjustsaying, a regular source of delightful pinkness, and sparklesandpretending.

Click here for previous posts from the Color Obsession series.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

my minion

Isabella made me a minion pendant from Despicable Me out of polymer clay. Here he is soaking up some Van Gogh culture.

Isabella is incredibly talented! She even made the animal balloon that Gru popped for the wildly insistent Noah. See how tiny my minion is...

Thousands of miles away, Inhae Lee has published a book on the adventures of his milk teeth characters. He says on his blog here that "When I was young, I placed my baby teeth under my pillow and when I woke up, I'd find a shiny new quarter. But whatever happened to those little teeth? Where did they go?" My Milk Toof explores the many adventures of these milk teef after that night under a pillow.

Lee's astounding patience & attention to detail is evident in every miniature set-up. Much like Isabella's meticulous tenacity & creative craftsmanship.

I wonder... will Isabella publish a book of my minion someday?

Photo from mymilktoof and my own.

Click here for previous posts on Isabella.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Noah says...

Noah got into a fight one day at school. When I asked him why he fought with his classmate, he replied, "You know what Vanessa say to me? Panget! [Ugly!] But I'm not panget naman! I'm just bungi [missing teeth]!"

"I'm not panget naman!" I just looove the self-confidence! Hahaha!

Photo of My Milk Toof (which I will talk more about soon) from here.

Click here for previous posts from the Noah Says series.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Today, I am loving...

Today, I am loving the idea of blue-soled wedding shoes. Aren't these the prettiest "something blue" a bride can wear?

Even Christian Louboutin moved away from his trademark red soles and launched the much coveted, highly-elusive one-time collection of Tiffany-blue-soled bridal shoes.

Today, I am loving... the idea of Tiffany-blue soles as a bride's "something blue".

Photos from here and here.

Click here for previous posts from the Today, I am loving... series.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

the designer bag obsession

The designer bag obsession almost always starts with a monogram bag -- whether it be a Louis Vuitton or a Gucci. Most people I know started with a Speedy or a Neverfull. Even Rachel Zoe started with a Louis Vuitton...

I did too - with a Vernis Bellevue. I remember Isabella asking "Why do you have Veronica Lodge's bag?" when she spotted the LV -- for her, VL on my then, new bag. 

After a couple of monogram bags, one moves on to iconic purses that may not have the identifiable interlocking initials, but have equally recognizable shapes, structures, materials or hardware. Like a Bottega Veneta hobo and its woven buttery-soft nappa leather (I just looove caressing this leather). Or a classic Balenciaga motorcycle bag's hardware. Or the iconic quilted Chanel 2.55. Or if you can afford it, the highly-coveted Birkin. Or more recently, the Mulberry Alexa and the Chloe Paraty.

At this point, a woman falls in love with a particular shape or structure and it doesn't matter anymore if the bag is recognizable. By this time, she is no longer looking for a classic bag that can go with anything in her wardrobe to drive up the purse's ROI (return on investment - as she was doing in the beginning because, after all, it was a big investment!). So she is now drooling over the trendy versions of iconic purses or the fabulous creations of interesting new designers. Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter - even Resort - collections are now anticipated.  

Then she transcends the need to collect the most expensive labels or this season's it bag and starts to notice purses for their pure innate beauty - and maybe even, practicality. This opens the door to a Zara shopper bag (which is now available in a blue-green hue. Swoon!) or my trusty Cole Haan crossbody in a versatile army green color. This bag has so many compartments that I love traveling with it. The crossbody strap frees my arms for shopping loot! And am unperturbed by the rain (a vast difference from when I use my Tahitienne). I found myself using this bag everyday.

Until I fell in love with this...

I looove that the lining is polka-dotted too, but different from the outer print! Would you believe it's really a diaper bag from Dwell Studio (I haven't decided what to do with the pretty polka-dotted diaper mat it came with... A placemat perhaps?)? I swear, it has added a skip in my step since I bought it!

Before I bought my dotted bag, I promised myself I'd put an end (okay, maybe just a hiatus) to purse-shopping. And I had been strong for months. But my latest loot has triggered thoughts of new purses... Particularly two-(or-three)-toned bags. Like the gray and blue Autumn/Winter 2011/2012 Tod's shoulder bag or these clutches.

Sigh. I wonder if the designer bag obsession finally ends at pure purse love. Or is it really a never-ending cycle that will soon bring me back to monogram bags? And with the newly reopened Louis Vuitton store in Greenbelt 4...

... more and more girls are going to get tempted to begin their cycle of the designer bag obsession.

What about you? What was your first designer bag?

Illustrations from arturoelena, here, here, here, here, here and here. Layout by moi. Photos from herehere, here and here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

some polka dots i spotted...

I've spotted this Valentino point d'esprit dress a number of times over the past months.

But I never knew its back was this sexy...

I love how the ruffly, bow-clad daintiness is balanced off by this tastefully sexy back.

Click here for previous posts from the Some Polka Dots I Spotted series.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Whimsical Wednesday!

Just a whimsical reminder to access your right brain today... Just look at the wonderful, colorful possibilities!

Have a whimsical Wednesday!

Photo from readclickspeak and here.

Click here for previous posts from the Whimsical Wednesday series.

Monday, October 17, 2011

street art

Who would have thought one could make art out of the double yellow lines on most roads?

And remember the striped street here? I just found out that the artist behind that was Gene Davis. Here he is at work on another of his striped streets.

Notice the double yellow lines around the middle?

So as you travel to work on this Monday morning, look at those double yellow lines differently and imagine the possibilities... Because who would have thought one could make art out of those double yellow lines?

Happy Monday morning!

Photos from readclickspeak, here and daveharries' wonderful photos of Corn Street, Bristol.

Click here for a previous post on a different kind of street art: pothole art.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

describing the indescribable

I knew my palate would be pleased during my recent trip to Hongkong here. But I didn't expect it to be this indescribable.

Amber is the signature restaurant of The Landmark Mandarin Oriental hotel. We chose the 8-course degustation menu even if the price was pretty expletive-inducing at HK$1,588 per person. But it was well worth every HK dollar x PhP5.8 -- right from the very first course: the sea urchin in a lobster jell-O with cauliflower, caviar & crispy seaweed waffles.

The second course was tasmanian salmon confit & smoked -- with avocado, horseradish & granny smith apple on the side. There was a dramatic flair to this dish as the salmon came covered in glass and the smoke rose when the glass was lifted.

By the fourth course - the red amadai with fennel & orange confit, 'bottarga' grated new potatoes, 'bouillabaisse' & manni olive oil emulsion, my friends and I were overwhelmed at the realization that we could not even force-rank the dishes. They all deserved to be at the top - each so different from the next, you couldn't compare them - and none falling at the bottom three. 

As I posted on Facebook by the 5th course, "No words are worthy to describe this meat course. The kagoshima wagyu beef melted in my mouth and left me utterly speechless."

It's funny though, because my friends and I had much to say throughout our 4-hour dinner. Here were a few of our quotable quotes that night:

"You know it's good when you're already reminiscing about course #5 at course #6."

"So good, I cannot even fi-- [nish my sentence].

By the french farmer cheeses course, while we sampled the blue cheese, our lame quotes were proving that the flavors in our mouth were totally indescribable:  "Sarap ng amag!" [The molds taste delicious!].  I have always loved sharp cheeses. Brie & Camembert were never sharp enough for me as I told you here. That is, until I tasted Amber's Camembert.

The first dessert (yes, there were 2 desserts!) - the malaga wild strawberries mascarpone semi freddo liquor 'fraise des bois' tipsy cake was too wonderful for words.

The abinao 85% chocolate souffle with brown rum anglaise & cacao sorbet was the biggest and most perfect-looking souffle I had ever seen. My friend's description? "It's like eating God's chocolate cloud."

Before we could dig into each course, one of Amber's well-informed staff would describe the dish with an eloquence we obviously lack, as you might have noticed through our quotes. But what I loved about them was, as their website accurately depicts, there was a "fresh absence of pretention" in their staff. Despite the fine ambiance of this French restaurant, Amber's staff made us feel comfortable to enjoy every one of those 8 courses in an unpretentious way. Had they not, how could we make such uncultured comments like "Sarap ng amag!" or "Ang Amber ay hindi na lang peachy-peachy ngayon."?

Amber was such a delightful gastronomic experience that we wondered how we could go back to eating regular food. How could we go back to eating without an articulate preamble about the dish? How could we hop on a plane after this and allow our meal to be preceded by just "Chicken or Beef"?

Oh, and in case you're finding it odd that I am raving about French cuisine when I had traveled to Hongkong and not Europe... We also enjoyed the best dimsum & the creamiest Deep-Fried Creamy Buns with Egg Yolk at Maxim's Palace and the best porkchop-rice at Delicious Kitchen. 

Photos from Amber.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


More of Steve Jobs' legacy... And I don't just mean the iPhone and the iPad. I'm referring to the beautiful typography our computers and gadgets now feature because of the great Steve Jobs (see related post here).

Design would be profoundly inadequate without typography.

As I first talked about it here, the typeface initial trend is adorning homes everywhere. There's just something about the alphabet (or our 1-2-3's) that is so endearing.

Random words and even words-to-live-by are also giving interiors character and significance.

Even random (like in the coasters below) or meaningful initials make a room more homey without sacrificing sleek, sophisticated design.

I just cannot imagine what life would be without typography. And for bringing it into the digital world, my deep gratitude to the great Steve Jobs! Truly, your genius has left a lasting imprint in our lives.

Photos from Catwife's shop crush Apostrophe's, designeditor, happythings and lushlee.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Noah says...

Sometimes, it seems Noah comes straight out of the movies. He could be the star... the director... or even the scriptwriter...

Noah: "I don't think you love me very much... Because everytime you get mad at me, you punch me."
Me: "I never punch you. Why do you say I punch you?"
Noah: "You punch my feelings."

A flair for drama, right? And I blame it on his big sister, Isabella, my lovable drama queen!

Photo from annnniegirl.

Click here for previous posts on Isabella.

Click here for previous posts from the Noah Says series.