Tuesday, October 30, 2012

pumpkin colors

I've always been drawn to the sight of pumpkins. I think it's the huge pop of orange brightening up the supposedly scary holiday. So it's no wonder these pumpkins made me smile - with colorful cartoony faces painted on the fun, orange gourd!

Though it turns out, painting over the orange still draws me in. Okay, I guess it isn't surprising that I would be captivated by these colorful, patterned pumpkins...

Don't you love their fun, Mexican pinata vibe?

What about the restrained pops of color & pattern on these white pumpkins?

Even purely white pumpkins look gorgeous!

Who would have thought white pumpkins could look this sophisticated?

Now what do you think of these black ones?

Turns out, with some paint, tinsel, glue and twine, Shannon of NYC Taught Me brought some punk to her pumpkins!

I'm not sure I'm ready to bring this punk aesthetic to my home. But I don't mind a black pumpkin for an interesting vase...

And to my dear friends & family in New York & New Jersey (where the top pumpkin photo was actually taken), I wish I could send you these pretty white pumpkin candles to help out during the power outages going on now. Stay safe. You are all in my prayers!

I guess it doesn't matter if pumpkins are orange or not. I'm still quite enamored by them in any color!

So orange or not, pumpkin or no pumpkin, have a happy Halloween everyone!

Photos are my own and from elizabethstreet via nyctaughtme & here, here, here and here.

Click here for my previous post on my farm-to-table pumpkin experience.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Santa & I are on vake!

Remember my post here about a website that churned out a personal video last Christmas of Santa greeting Noah? On a whim, I went back to the site recently. I was curious if they had similar non-Christmas apps Noah would like.

But turns out, it is a purely Christmas-season website. And Santa is still on vacation! I found the photo of a beautiful beach with Santa's hat hanging on a chair totally amusing!

Incidentally, I'm going on a vake too. I'm not going to the beach like Santa, but I will be filling up my belly - possibly to the level of Santa's round belly that jiggles like a bowl full of jelly. Thankfully, it's only a short food-trip vake. Back next week!

Photo from here.

Click here and here for previous posts on some food-trip travels.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Whimsical Wednesday!

Two whimsical things about me: (1) I loooove candy. I would love to have a room in the house filled with candy. And (2) I love pretty things.

So I was giddy with delight in this literal eye candy store: newly-opened Made In Candy at Powerplant Mall Rockwell!

Aren't they the prettiest candies?

Similar to how they make jewelry beads out of polymer clay, the candy artisans keep rolling the layers of candy until they're almost as thin as pencils.

You can watch these candy artisans mold the rock candy right in front of your eyes!

It's amazing how the huge logs are turned into such intricate tiny pieces of candy! The elaborate bunch of grapes and even the ornate butterfly were quite impressive! Isabella even squealed with delight when she inspected a little orange slice and noticed they had tiny seeds (and not just 1 seed per section like the first photo in this post, but 2 to 3 per triangle section!)!

They come assorted in a tiny jar (PhP90), a pouch (PhP100) and a jam-sized jar (PhP260).

The best part is that they're not only lovely to look at; they're also lovely to taste! Each pretty design is a different mix of delicious flavors of hard candy.

Love, love, love this literal eye candy!

Have a whimsical pretty-candy-filled Wednesday!

Photos are my own and from Made In Candy Philippines' FB page. Made In Candy can be found at Level 2 Bridgeway, Powerplant Mall - right in front of Bayo and La Senza.

Click here for previous posts from the Whimsical Wednesday series! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

collection art

The COS website features the Inspiring Art of Collecting with extraordinary collections of some very ordinary things, stunningly captured by Maurice Scheltens & Liesbeth Abbenes' photography. The first is 24-year-old Manon Grootendorst's collection of over 225 soap bars. She started collecting these pretty bars of soap when she was eight years old. Now, she either receives them as gifts from friends and family or buys them herself.

This is Hans Mes' collection of light bulbs. In 15 years, he has accumulated over 3,000 light bulbs, mostly from the 1930s to the 1950s, when the variation in shape was at its greatest. I never imagined light bulbs could look this amazing!

This I can imagine having, being such a fan of washi tapes: a collection of tape rolls. Joep Pingen collects them on instinct, on impulse, and has gotten into the habit of buying two rolls - one for use and the other for his collection.

This next one is my favorite of these four extraordinary collections of ordinary things. This is the Joker playing cards collection of Leonard van Munster, who is said to be quite a joker himself. I think the art at the back of the cards - the different colors & intricate patterns look even more dramatic together.

Don't you agree that these collections are indeed art, worthy to be displayed on glass shelving like these?

Photos from cos.

Click here for previous posts from the Art series. Click here for previous posts on washi tapes.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Simple Trick: Get Baby to Look at the Cam

Yes, capturing a baby's backside is precious.

Even a baby's feet flailing out of a crib looks adorable.

But eventually, you'll want to capture his face. With Mommy or Daddy trying to catch his attention on the sidelines, you get photos like this.

So how can you get your toddler to look straight at the camera and give you a big happy smile?

This DIY Elmo on your camera will.

Made with a red scrunchie, white & orange felt and two black buttons.

Because what kid doesn't love Elmo?

Photos from acupofjo, pinkwallpaper, here and nyctaughtme.

Click here for previous posts from the Simple Trick series.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

my pretend closet: COS

During my last trip to Hong Kong, I discovered COS (Collection of Style), a brand of tailored, architectural pieces. I was so drawn to their classic, minimalist and structured silhouettes but I had known then that I was taking a break from work. I didn't think their sophisticated dresses and coats - despite their simple & clean lines - were appropriate for lying on my bed or lazy-boy couch or for bringing the kids to and from school.

But I was so smitten with their colors! They had all my color obsessions: seafoam green, lavender, apple green, coral and mustard.

And I love that their Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection still has these yummy colors! What a happy bright touch to the usual dark colors of this season!

Awww, if only we had Fall and Winter in Manila (or if I had my old winter-cold office to dress up for)...

But since I don't, H&M's premium brand COS' collection will have to stay in my pretend closet for now. Though I have to say it was incredibly hard to resist shopping in such a beautiful store!
It took all my willpower to keep myself from trying on those pretty-colored clothes. But I did try on those white wedges and I have to admit, if I hadn't lost my shopping mojo here, they would have made it to my non-pretend closet.
Photos from cosstores, here and here.

Click here for previous posts from the My Pretend Closet series.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mommy Mondays: a mothering ritual

Do you have a special mothering ritual you do with your kids? I don't mean a mom-child date or activity - even if it's a motherly duty like doing the grocery or watering the plants together. I mean a grooming, babycare ritual that you still do for them even though they're no longer babies.

Mine is ear-cleaning. Maybe because all the other rituals (bathing, hair-combing, dressing them up or even cutting their nails) are inevitably outgrown since they eventually learn to do these themselves. Sure, they can use a cottonbud by themselves, but reeeally cleaning - checking for earwax - is something they can never do on their own. Maybe that's why, every now and then, I still do this for 15-year-old Isabella and 7-year-old Noah.

And for some reason, I feel a special connection with them during this ritual. The exact same feeling of utmost trust, complete dependence and motherly love I felt when my mom used to clean my ears. I have this fear that if someone pokes deep enough, I could go deaf. So I could only trust my mom to go poking in my ear. I remember, as a young teen, feeling secure and cared for when my mom would clean my ear. Am I weirding you out? But I think that ritual allowed me to feel the mothering I felt as a baby, even in my gradeschool years. And there was something so comforting, so cocooning about that.

So I guess all those feelings come back to me when I clean my kids' ears. But this time, the tables are turned and they can trust me and feel secure that I will do it ever so gently, ever so carefully, in a way only their mother can.

That fear... of poking too deep... Used to rob me of the loving joy of this special ritual of ours. That is until I discovered these tweezers in True Value.

They come with a light so you see clearly. The thin end (before it gets too stout to fit inside the ear) is short enough to keep me from going in too deep. It isn't the usual scoop-like ear-cleaner so I don't end up hurting them by scraping the sides of their ear canals.

Of course, it's gross when you pull out the earwax. But that's less disgusting than being peed on during diaper-changing when they were just months old. Or washing their bums after they yell "Mommy, I'm done!" after sitting in the toilet for minutes. Maybe this adds to the motherly badge of the ritual. After all, before we became mothers, we wouldn't have thought we would voluntarily clean up someone else's poop, spit-up or earwax, right?
Yes, cleaning my kids' ears is my special mothering ritual. It gives me that fuzzy feeling of... home.

What about you? Do you have a special mothering ritual of your own? 

Photo from heritage.
Click here for the maiden post of this new Mommy Mondays series.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Color Obsession: burgundy

I don't know about you, but the last time I heard the color burgundy said out loud was way back in high school. I remember having a thick oversized burgundy cardigan from Benetton that I would wear over my uniform when it was cold. I've forgotten about this color - almost like Cinderella did with her slipper (I just want to make sense of that photo of a lone shoe). Surprisingly, it is everywhere in the Fall selections of A Cup of Jo's Joanna on ASOS.
It certainly looks like the preppy ivy-league burgundy from high school...
... has turned sexy and flirty!
Especially paired with cherry red and turquoise in DVF's Fall Collection.
Then again, how can it not with the DVF touch?
Check out the signature DVF gold chain detail...
... on this burgundy purse that can hold an iPad.
To be honest, I am not obsessed with burgundy. But I am somewhat drawn to it. Maybe the deep, dark color makes it mysterious & enchanting. And because it's a red hue, it undoubtedly has a touch of sexy, flirty fearlessness. 
Photos from acupofjo, asos and goop (read about the fascinating DVF interview here).
Click here for previous posts from the Color Obsession series.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Noah says...

Yes, it's hard enough to teach the English language with all these quirks. But I'm sure most of you will agree that Filipino is much, much harder to teach!

I remember when Isabella was in her early gradeschooler days, her talasalitaan [vocabulary list] included the word pobre [poor] which, in her handout said, meant mahirap [poor in this context, but could also mean difficult]. After Isabella finished studying her talasalitaan, the hubby decided to test her. He asked her to use pobre in a sentence and she said, "Ang pag-aral ng Filipino ay pobre". Acheche!

Like sister, like brother: recently, while Noah was working on his Filipino assignment, he asked, "What's simbahan [church]?" I had grand dreams of teaching critical thinking, helping him figure it out on his own, so I asked him, "What's simba [go to church]?" He answered, "Lion?" (Yes, he was thinking of Simba from Lion King). Ayos!

Photo from here, but first discovered on my Facebook newsfeed.

Click here for previous posts from the Noah Says... series.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

street food

I didn't used to eat isaw*. Actually, I still don't from anywhere except the Merly's BBQ stall in Boracay. There are many similar stalls, but trust me, Merly's is the best. The secret is in her sweet-spicy sauce. Delish on the only isaw manok* I eat, but also on her BBQ and choriburger.**
The other street food I love is fishballs. I only eat this in UP because they've always had a no-double-dipping rule.
In fact, nowadays, double-dipping is not even possible because the sauces aren't in the old bottles with big screw-caps. They're now in containers with small openings, meant to be poured on your paper tray of fishballs. The few times we would drive all the way to Quezon City, we always make it a point to pass UP. We ask to buy a bag of uncooked fishballs and request for bags of the sweet and spicy sauces. It's really the sauce I'm after. The ones from the grocery just don't taste the same. And Manang will only give you sauce if you buy the actual fishballs - cooked or not.***
I had been craving for fishballs for months, but hadn't gotten around to scheduling a trip to UP. Then, the other day, on my way home from bringing the kids to school, around 8am, I chanced upon a fishball vendor pushing his cart along the side of the road. I stopped him and bought a bag of uncooked fishballs. I was wary at first because I didn't know if Pasig also had the no-double-dipping rule. But after noticing it was only 8am, that Manong hadn't even started up his kalan [stove] and the sauce containers were still filled to the brim, I was confident I was the very first customer that day.
And so I got to have the fishballs I had been craving for for months for breakfast that day! Plus, my fishballs were deep-fried in our healthier oil and I got to enjoy it in a much prettier bowl than the usual paper tray.
Street food in the comfort of my home (or on Boracay sand). For me, the best way to enjoy street food is off the street.
What about you? What's your favorite street food?
*Isaw is chicken [manok] or pork intestine. ;p 
**Merly's BBQ stall/s come out at night and can be found either on the street side or the beachfront side of the Cocomangas area in Station 1. Over the years, the establishment on the beach side of that area has changed a couple of times. So just look for the old Cocomangas bar on the street side and if Merly's isn't across the street from the bar, just walk towards the beach. You should find the stall in that area.
***A bag of uncooked fishballs costs anywhere from P100-200.
Photos are my own.