Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lego Tales: Legoland Details

As promised here, am sharing another thing I love about Legoland: their attention to detail is unparalleled.

It starts out as soon as you enter the long driveway (at least, in California) because, not only will you be greeted by letters forming the word WELCOME built with Lego bricks, but the banners on the tall posts by the road have a Lego brick screw! It's a shame I didn't take a photo of it, but it is testament to their meticulousness. I mean, who even looks at a banner's screw?

Then when you get to the park entrance, you will see the huge LEGOLAND sign which is very high up so you would hardly notice the Christmas trimmings.

But lo and behold, they are made of Lego bricks!

Even on a regular (no occasion) day, they take the trouble to put a mini-figure made completely out of Lego bricks inside the letter O.

One of the Miniland sights was a mini-replica of the Daytona International Speedway.

It's actually a mini-replica of a Daytona 500 race. See how full the stands are?

Here's where Legoland's unbelievable attention to detail comes in. They could have used Lego mini-figures to fill up the stands, right? But no, they decided to use Lego bricks to make every unique person in the crowd!

Can you find two people that look exactly the same? I couldn't! I did spot an ice cream & lollipop vendor though. Can you see him?

Still in Miniland, check out this replica of the White House.

Notice anything?

There are Secret Service agents on the roof. Aren't their shades adorable?

In Lego Central Park, they unsurprisingly had a mini-replica of the Central Park Stage, the Imagine mosaic, the Wollman skating rink (not in photo) and the Belvedere Castle (not in photo).

But even in obscure spots around Central Park, there was even this cap and postcard stand!

How meticulous is that?

Truly, Legoland's attention to detail is unparalleled!

Photos are all my own.

Click here for previous posts from the Lego Tales series. Click here for a down-in-the-dots post about Legoland details.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

style inspiration

I've been so obsessed with Spring's pastel colors and prints this whole summer, that I've decided to take a break from a color-filled wardrobe. I've decided to slip into some classics with a twist. They look quite plain at first glance. But I like that there is a detail or two that makes it subtly stylish.

Because it still doesn't come naturally to me to mix black with brown (though I've come a long way from struggling to resist it here), I find the nude shoes with black trousers above chic-ly unexpected.

I also gravitated towards this look. It's just a classic white button-down with khakis. But I think the lace camisole gives the man's shirt a soft feminine vibe. And the knotted belt (vs. the traditional inside-the-belt-clasp) gives it a nonchalant hard element.

And finally, this striped shirt with the orange cuff.

Don't these little details give classics a chic subtle twist?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

one gustatory night

When our friend A comes home from Jakarta, we take him out for a gustatory night. Here are the highlights of one palate-pleasing evening (thanks to J & K, the best food & drinks itinerary planners).

We started the night off in Mangetsu on Jupiter Street. Their Sea Urchin Tempura (P295) is the best I've ever tasted!

Just a rundown of our orders during our dinner in this Japanese fusion restaurant, owned by Chuvaness' dad: Karaage Fried Chicken with 3 kinds of salt (P380; quite good!), Beef Sukiyaki (P420; I am generally not a sukiyaki fan, but Mangetsu's Sukiyaki is pretty delicious sukiyaki!), Pork Gyoza (5 pieces for P290; tastes like most gyozas but the plating was excellent), and Salt-Water-Boiled Broccoli with spicy cod roe mayo sauce (P295; I liked this a lot because I looove Japanese mayo).

Then we moved to Cova, a tapas & sangria bar on Jupiter as well. I think we tried 3 types of sangrias, but the best one was their Summery Peach White Wine Sangria.

We were stuffed from our authentic Japanese dinner but couldn't resist their Huevos Cabreados because it seemed like someone thought of all his favorite things and put them together in one dish! Shoestring potatoes, fried egg, chorizo bits, aioli. It was delicious bar chow.

Then we capped off the night at The Blind Pig. More than the drinks, I think what's more talk-worthy was the experience. 

The Blind Pig is a cocktail bar with a braille sign and a locked door. You will get buzzed in and upon entering, you will get a whiff of a spa-like smell which made us half-expect some blind masseurs. Instead, we were greeted by a very dimly-lit bar with a friendly staff. While they have a tiny card with their menu in 4-point font, they encourage you to get a personalized drink. They ask you what alcohol you like, if you like it say, sweet or sour. I chose vodka and adventurously asked for a salty drink. 

When my drink arrived, our server called me by my name (how's that for personalized?) and told me they made me a Gorbachev's Cup, a vodka-based cocktail with muddled cucumber, finished with sea salt and fresh-cracked black pepper. It was an interesting drink, largely because of the salt & pepper. Refreshing too, because of the cucumber. Next time, I plan to change my brief to "something candy-like". I wonder what they'll come up with?

It was definitely one awesome gustatory night!

38 Jupiter St., Bel-Air Village, Makati City
somewhere between Makati Ave. & Fiama
(632) 4783292
*Prices quoted above are based on downloadable soft-opening menu on Mangetsu's website.

Cova Tapas Y Sangria
22 Jupiter St., Bel-Air Village, Makati City
(632) 478-9700

The Blind Pig
227 Salcedo St. Makati City
The door is perpendicular to the road so I sure hope you find it!

Photos from frommetoyouhere, subtleyetrobust, here, here and my friend A's.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

some polka dots i spotted...

Trent Walton on Blogs:

"There's something sacred about reading a blog post on someone else's site. It's like visiting a friend's house for a quick meal 'round the breakfast table. It's personal - you're in their space, and the environment is uniquely suited for idea exchange and uninterrupted conversation. In many ways, we should be treating our blogs like our breakfast tables. Be welcoming & gracious when you host, and kind & respectful when visiting."

It's been a whole year since I started this blog. It has been a truly wonderful year! Thanks for letting me share my love for polka dots and other delightful things.

Thanks for sharing these great breakfasts with me!

Photos from blondiensc. Quote from here via acupofjo.

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

Monday, May 21, 2012

Noah says...

I had an early meeting at the office and left the house before Noah woke up. So I got a call from him around mid-morning saying, "I need to go to the eye doctor because when I woke up, my up-eye was stuck to my down-eye."

He thought he needed to go to the eye doctor because he had muta! Ayayay! But I have to say I love how he called his eyelids up-eye and down-eye. Hahaha!

Photo from nyctaughtme.

Click here for previous posts from the Noah Says series.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

spring color finds

Coincidentally, the colors of these pastel rings are the exact same colors of my recent Spring color finds!

Inspired by eyecandy here and still unable to shake my seafoam green obsession from here, I trotted to SM to find a seafoam green belt.

The one I found wasn't as pretty as I hoped. With its gray tinges, it wasn't as light & cheery as I wanted it to be.

But I found a lot of other belts in pretty spring colors!

And I was weak. I couldn't resist buying all 5 belts!

But it's okay because 3 of them cost just P149.75 each. The pale yellow one was even cheaper at P129.75 and the grayish-green one (the one I wasn't so happy with) was (ironically) the most expensive at P179.75. Still, not bad, right?

I also satisfied my seafoam green craving with this wallet that I got for only P499.75.

It puts a smile on my face every time I look inside my bag! :)

Loving my Spring color finds!

Photos are from acupofjo and my own - edited with pixlr.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

where do you like to be held?

For those of you in a relationship, is there a specific way your partner holds you that never fails to make you feel warm & tingly all over? Like you're a teenage girl getting kissed ever-so-gently for the very first time by your highschool crush?

I find a light touch on my knee quite comforting.

A gentle stroking of my fingers quite sweet.

And a tender touch on my side quite endearing.

A firm grasp of my back makes me feel lovingly safe & protected.

And hands clutching my face in a kiss, so romantic.

And finally, noses touching, so real, honest & playful. A warm-and-tingly meant to last forever.

What about you? Where do you like to be held? Is there a special way he holds you that makes you feel even more loved and in love?

Photos from pinkwallpaper and annnniegirl.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

the successful half-tuck

The successful half-tuck spells the difference between effortlessly chic and just plain sloppy or fashion victim. I'm not sure if the half-tuck started on the catwalk (this one is from a Dries Van Noten runway show last year) or from Swedish fashionista Elin Kling or Vogue Paris editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt.

But I've done so much research (read: excuse to surf the web), that I think I've figured out the components of a successful half-tuck. I've dissected and analyzed every half-tuck photo I googled to come up with the anatomy of the successful half-tuck (read: it was a long weekend for me).

1 The half-tuck needs to be gradual. See how the runway look above is perfectly styled to look imperfectly chic. It just looks stiff & contrived when half of your button down shirt is impeccably tucked into your bottoms and the other is untucked.

A half-tuck is meant to look effortless and doing this left-half-is-completely-different-from-your-right-half shows you put too much effort to follow a trend. A successful half-tuck has to look like it got untucked by itself as you moved around. Or like you were too in a rush that morning to tuck your whole shirt. Like this...

Do the same gradual-untuck even with t-shirts like Elin Kling does here.

2 Accessorize thoughtfully. A fabulous jacket, belt, boots or heels will keep you from looking like a slob. Piling on the bangles or a sweet pair of aviators like Emmanuelle Alt here will also do the trick.

You can even pull off a contrived half-tuck with the right accessories!

3 The half-tuck looks best with loose, soft, even sheer tops.

A soft material, not only makes the gradual-untuck easier to execute, but it also gives the casual half-tuck look a dose of polish.

4 And always, always do the half-tuck with skinny bottoms.

Only runway models can get away with a half-tuck on loose pants (Yes, I know Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is a model, but I promise, even real people like us can look good in a half-tuck paired with skinny bottoms!).

I think it's easier to execute a successful half-tuck with a short top and low-rise bottoms. But that's just me. Hope these tips help you pull off an effortlessly chic half-tuck before the summer ends!

Photos from hanneli, herehere, here, here and here.

Click here for the down-in-the-dots version of this post.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

HeeHaw-somest Mother's Day!

I spoke - er, posted - too soon. We broke tradition this year and it was soooo worth it! I had the HeeHaw-somest Mother's Day ever!

Maybe you already know from here how much I love horses and how terribly I miss riding. Well, my day started with an excited Noah brightly greeting me with several handmade gifts - my favorite of which was this bookmark of a purple pony. His cousin has the actual Littlest Pet Shop toy horse and I constantly beg her to let me have it, but she refuses every single time. So my sweet Noah drew me my own LPS pony!

Then, coincidentally, Isabella gave me her most coveted LPS pony (the one I pined for when she was younger, but she was never willing to give it up). She said the horse was supposed to watch over me when she's not around (Awww!). So I put the tiny horse on the charging tray on my bedside table.

Then, the hubby changed the Cafe 1771 plan to... a trip to El Kabayo Riding Stables in Clark, Pampanga! I was greeted by a delightfully unexpected sight! The facility is a replica of an old western town straight out of an American cowboy movie. The facade recreated an old-west saloon, a trading post, a telegraph office, a run-down hotel, a federal bank and even a courthouse, the sheriff's office and a county jail!

Then I finally got to ride. Happiness! First, we took the trail. We went through a kalamansi grove in the sweltering heat. Then Isabella and I still wanted to ride so we went around the riding ring.

Before leaving El Kabayo, we explored the Old West Town more closely. Here's a prisoner from the County Jail that escaped because the Sheriff was sleeping on the rocking chair... Hehe.

Then as I took more close-up photos, I realized that the Old West Town replica was actually the facade of the stables. So through the "shop windows" you could actually spy horses! And if you remember from here, just seeing a thoroughbred's back calms me. So I was delighted beyond belief when I looked through each shop window and saw such huge beautiful horses! Their backs were usually facing the shop window so one of the El Kabayo staff handed us grass to feed the horse.

Truly, this was the HeeHaw-somest Mother's Day ever!

Photos are my own and from annnniegirl and here - all edited with pixlr.