Monday, August 27, 2012

beach top-view

Did you go to the beach over the past 2 long weekends?

Photographer Gray Malin took this amazing series of top-view photos of beaches from St. Tropez to Manhattan Beach.

I love the pops of color...

... from the umbrellas,

... kayaks,

... and are-these-towels-or-recliners-?.

They say Malin took the photos from a doorless helicopter.

Don't these stunning photos make you want to go to the beach? It's a good thing we did go to the beach over the past long weekend. The hubbies (mine & two other friends' hubbies) planned a trip to Grande Island in Subic. Sans a helicopter, these are my best top-view photos of our beach trip.

Not as spectacular as Malin's (though I have to say Isabella's octopus is pretty spectacular!)...

... but just as colorful... and much more precious because they're of my Noah & Isabella!

What about you? Did you and your kids have a great time at the beach this long weekend?

Photos are my own and from here via acupofjo.

P.S. Isabella turns 15 today! Happy, happy birthday sweetheart! May you never tire of sculpting sand-animals at the beach! Love, love, love you!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Simple Trick: Must-Teach Piano Piece

Recently, Noah dug up his old toy piano (you know, those little pianos you can buy from the toy store). He was banging at it noisily (so not music to my ears - in fact, cannot be considered music, by any definition!) so I decided to teach him to play a simple song.

I taught him to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

CC GG AA G FF EE DD C (you can opt to replace D with G, it's just simpler to use D)

Here's why it's the best piano piece to teach your young child:
1. It only uses a total of 6 keys. So it works even on the smallest of toy pianos.
2. It repeats the GG FF EE DD pattern 4 times throughout the song. So it's easy for a little child to remember!
3. The GG FF EE DD pattern is so simple because it just goes down the scale 1 key at a time (vs. skipping keys all over the keyboard).
4. And best of all, when he gets tired of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, it works with Baa Baa Black Sheep and the Alphabet Song as well! So imagine the sense of accomplishment of your little pianist who can suddently play 3 whole songs!!!

Baa Baa Black Sheep
CC GG AAAA G FF EE DD C (again, you can replace D with G)

The Alphabet Song
CC GG AA G FF EE DD C (again, you can replace D with G)

Here's Noah playing 1 of his 3 piano pieces.

Have fun watching your child turn into a proud pianist!

Photos are my own, edited via pixlr, and from imjustsaying.

Click here for previous posts from the Simple Trick series.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Today, I am loving...

We've lived in our house for over 7 years and I still haven't decided on our house-number's design. Today, I am loving... the idea of an unexpected look for a house number - whether it be by stenciling it on a planter like in the photo above or by positioning it on an unusual spot of your front door like this one...

Or on pumpkins! Haha! (Remember my pumpkin-carving experience here?)

I even like that that this house number is spelled out!

Problem is, none of these ideas will work on my house. 1 The platform from our gate to the street is an incline so a planter would slide down. 2 We are a gated house so that idea of the numbers on the bottom part of our front door will not work. 3 Pumpkins? Okay, that doesn't need explanation. 4 Our street is a 3-block-long cul-de-sac, so houses are counted by lot & block numbers. It will be a whole paragraph to spell it out!

Hmmm... I wonder what unusual house number will work in my house? Ideas, anyone?

Though I haven't thought up one for my house yet, today, I am loving... the idea of an unexpected house number. After all, it's the first thing a visitor sees of your house.

Photos from annnniegirl, here and here.

Click here for previous posts from the Today, I Am Loving... series.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

three of a kind

My friends K, C and I have very different fashion styles. K's style is edgy, structured and sleek. She wears a lot of blacks & neutrals - hardly ever in colors or patterns. C's style is romantic & feminine. She loves flouncy floral dresses and bows. And I guess I'm somewhere in between (K calls it creative classics). I go for effortless, classic shapes made fashion-forward with unusual detail - whether it be a large graphic print on a dress or my latest color fixation.

We're lucky we have such different styles because we work in the same office, in the same department, so the three of us going to work in the exact same clothes would be really weird (umm, uniform?)!

Since we shop together a lot, two of us would inevitably end up buying the same thing (because how can one not share a steal?). But in our years of shopping sprees, never did all three of us buy the exact same thing... Until two particular shopping trips to Zara this year.

It started out with a pair (correction, 3 pairs) of this mixed-color shoe.

Initially, we would text each other early in the morning if we were wearing what we started to call "our shoes" that day. But two weeks ago, the three of us got yet another pair of mixed-color shoes (which makes the quick text in the morning difficult since you have to say which pair you're talking about).

Seriously, how could any of us resist this yellow, python, black and tan shoe? Seriously!

Then we each got a different color of this pretty top with multiple peepholes along the collar.

Since we've relaxed on the morning warning texts, am not sure how big the chance is that all three of us will wear the exact same thing to work. Then again, I'm not worried. Our styles (and shapes, haha!) are so different, I'm sure the exact same thing will look very different on each of us.

Photos from annnniegirl and zara.

Click here for the first time I posted about these mixed-color shoes. And yes, the yellow python one was just in my pretend closet at that time. Not anymore! :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

a pink lake

Can you believe this is an actual lake? This pretty strawberry-milkshake-looking pink lake is Lake Retba in Senegal. Isn't it amazing?

The lake's extremely high salt content (1.5 times higher than the Dead Sea!) promotes the growth of a red microorganism that colors the water into this beautiful pink.

Salt collectors work long hours to harvest the salt. Before going into the water though, they have to coat their skin with shea butter for protection.

Here, microbiologist Bernard Oliver holds up a sample of the pink water.

Looks like pink grapefruit juice, right?

Isn't it so dramatic how the pink water meets the white shore? Such a majestic sight!

First discovered via blackeiffel. Photos from here, here and here.

Click here for a previous post on other pink things.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lego Tales: Cannes Lions Winning Ads

This Lego campaign from Germany won a Silver in the Outdoor category of the recently concluded 2012 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. I love that you can immediately tell it's Bert & Ernie even with just a few Lego bricks.

Did you recognize the Smurfs?

What about Donald and his nephews?

They remind me of Noah's Toy Story creations here...

This is what I love about Lego: how, with creativity and imagination, you can create anything out of those tiny, colored bricks! It is the perfect, perfect toy!

And it has been for 80 years! The Lego Group just celebrated its 80th birthday on August 12 with an animated short film here about how the company began. Turns out, Lego means "I put together" in Latin. 

Echoing my thoughts, the creator's grandson Kjeld narrates, "With a child's imagination, Lego could be anything in the world - over and over again. The imagination is the limit." The perfect, perfect toy! Happy birthday Lego! 

Photos are my own, a screenshot of the video here and from here.

Click here for previous posts from the Lego Tales series. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

my pretend closet: Olivia's jacket

I've been smitten with this jacket of Olivia Palermo. I love that the olive safari bodice is paired with leather sleeves. But I have no idea what brand it is or where to get it.

I actually saw a similar one on sale in Zara during my recent trip to Hongkong. My shopping buddy K even tried it on.

But I wasn't very happy with the collar and the length of the Zara version. I just looove how Olivia's jacket can be buttoned up all the way to her chin. I also like that the leather sleeve is longer than the olive bodice.

Maybe if this older Zara version were available, a jacket inspired by Olivia's would be hanging in my actual closet now. 

But it wasn't. So Olivia's jacket will just have to remain in my pretend closet.

Photos from manilafashionobserverzara and here.

Click here for a previous post on Olivia Palermo's style. Click here for previous posts from the My Pretend Closet series.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

a secret NYC subway station

Who would have thought there was an underground cathedral in New York? Right within the New York Subway System! I'm not really a fan of taking the subway - largely due to my motion sickness here, but also because there's nothing beautiful to look at through the windows of the moving train. So it's a good thing there are glimpses of beautiful art in some stations. Like this mosaic at the Spring Street station...

And these humorous sculptures scattered all around the station at 8th Avenue and 14th Street.

In fact, I see the mosaics of the station names as a delightful break from the rapidly moving (read: dizziness-inducing) walls I see through the view-less subway windows. I think this one is especially pretty...

But imagine something much more majestic than these glimpses of subway art... with tall arches lined with tiles, brass fixtures and skylights.

The City Hall Station, which opened in 1904, was meant to be a showpiece and crown jewel of the new subway station. Sadly, it was closed down in 1945 and is still closed to the public today.

But a few blogs I've read say that in-the-know subway riders can still catch a glimpse of the architectectural station. They say we should take the 6 train. But instead of getting off at the last stop, which is Brooklyn Bridge, you need to stay in the train as it makes a turnaround through City Hall Station to start its trip back uptown.

Am not sure if they still allow people to stay in the train after the Brooklyn Bridge station, but if I were in New York, I'd definitely get on the 6 train to try and view this hidden underground cathedral. Oh, I wish I could fly to New York!!!

Photos are my own and from here, here and here.

Click here for New York captured in beautiful moving pictures.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

some polka dots i spotted...






polka dots


black, gray & white. 

Photos from annnniegirl and pinkwallpaper.

Click here for the down-in-the-dots version of this post. Click here for previous posts from the Some Polka Dots I Spotted... series.

Friday, August 10, 2012

it's always sunny in the Philippines!

Seriously. It's always sunny in the Philippines! Even when we are in a state of calamity because of flooding from these torrential rains. I love that the sunny disposition of Pinoys does not ever waver.

I guess it's perfect that the sun is part of the Philippine flag. And while Philippine History classes teach very different meanings to this symbol, I think they should add our sunny disposition to the list! It's no wonder we wait with smiles and good spirits until the sun rises again on Manila.

It warms my heart to hear about these nice words an American said about the Filipino people.

Aren't you proud to be Pinoy?

Photos from my Facebook news feed.

Click here for a post on how you can help out and show that Filipino spirit.