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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Summer Specials Part I: Gisele Bündchen Seeds Collection for Ipanema


I have been wearing boots and closed shoes since October, I can't wait to bust out my sandals and flip flops. On the upside, wearing socks and shoes have re-moisturized my feet, so no more rough and cracking heels (no thanks to wearing sandals and flip flops for years in Manila!) for me! My feet are as soft as a baby's bottom now, heehee!

But still, I can't wait for summer. As much as dressing up for winter is fun, it can be such a chore when you have to do it every single day you know? It takes me forever to get dressed too, Dear Hubby cannot understand why I need over an hour to prepare. See, I need to shower, moisturize, let the lotions and creams penetrate my skin, then put on my tights, leggings/pants, tank top, long sleeved shirt, cardigan or sweater, then my winter coat, gloves, hat, and finally zip up or slip into my boots. Sigh. A chore I tell you.

That's why I miss dressing for tropical weather. Just put on a dress and slip into flip flops/sandals and that's it. I'm done. Plus sandals and flip flops don't cost as much as boots, I can buy so many pairs in different styles and colors. Hahaha! I actually thought I have had enough with flip flops and sandals, because I just have so many. But now I think I can spare a few more, what with Gisele Bündchen's latest line of flip flops called GB Seeds for Ipanema out now.

This particular one worn by Gisele has got to be my favorite! So dainty!


I was invited to attend the Blogger's Event for the unveiling of the collection, but since I am still here in the freezing East Coast, I asked my sister Dianne to go on my behalf and check it out for me. And did she have fun! She said dancers from the Philippine Ballet Theater were dancing in their slippers and it made her wish she continued with her ballet lessons, hahaha! I guess, that goes to show these slippers by Gisele really are something else, they're strong and comfortable enough for serious dancing huh?





Not to mention, these slippers are pretty too! Check out the table centerpieces during the event...



If comfy and pretty are not enough of a come on, Ipanema flip flops are environment friendly too, as they are made from recycled materials and supplies such as industrial and paiting residues and surplus PVC. The folks behind Ipanema flip flops are so eco-conscious in fact, that when you buy a pair of their flip flops, they will donate a portion of the proceeds to Haribon Foundation's Road to 2020 - a project to plant and grow native trees in our local rain forests by 2020. If you are fit and up to it, you can also participate in the Walk The Green Mile Walkathon where you can score freebies and get a chance to win prizes like a pair of personally signed Gisele Bündchen flip flops, a baller ID or a Walk the Green Mile t-shirt. If luck fails you, you can at least purchase Gisele Bündchen flip flops at 10% off at the Ipanema booth on the day of the Walkathon! The event will be on March 21, 2008 and meeting point is at the parking lot of Le Souffle at The Fort. Registration starts at 3 PM and the Walkathon starts at 5 PM.

In the meantime, check out these babies you might just win for yourself! Or hey, just buy a pair or two anyway and consider it a charitable donation! Note the forest-inspired print on its soles and the metal spiral button gracing the front sandal strap that symbolizes “the seed of life.” Just gorgeous!


New Thong Fem





Plataforma Fem



Sand Fem




Thong Fem




Thong Strap Ad



Ipanema is exclusively distributed in the country by ELRO Commercial and Industrial Corporation. Ipanema GB Seeds Collection for women are available in SM Department Store, Shoe Salon, Chocolate Clothing Company, Red Alert, Landmark, Freeway, Planet Sports, Crossings, Brent and Chloe in Pampanga, Stand and Stride in Cabanatuan, Chimes Davao, 25th Avenue Square Naga, Basix Bacolod and for other boutiques nationwide, kindly check the complete list at www.ipanemaphils.com.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Never Say Never

I said I would never be one of those pregnant women who wear loose or garterized pants. I thought it looked sloppy, if not unflattering. But now that my tummy is getting bigger, I haven't worn any of my jeans or pants because I can no longer zip it up. These days, I'd rather go for comfort than style. Thus, loose or garterized pants are beginning to look appealing to me. Really appealing.

Two weeks ago, I went shopping with my sister who came over for a visit. She was on the lookout for a puffer jacket at Zara, but I was the one who ended up going home with three pairs of loose pants! Stylish ones at that! I got two pairs of dhoti/drop crotch pants and a slouchy harem trouser - all for the staggering amount of $29.70!!! Yes, each pair of pants was just $9.90 each!!! What a steal!

Here's how I styled my loose pants. Not so sloppy right?

Drop crotch pants with side pockets...


Top: T by Alexander Wang
Tights: Topshop Maternity
Flats: Lanvin

Dhoti pants with side waist tie and buttons...


Breton shirt: Petit Bateau
Scarf: Isabel Marant
Sneakers: Converse Chuck Taylor

My harem trousers are in the wash. Since it has a garterized waist, I've been wearing it nonstop for the last couple of days. Now I promise never to say never. I swear these loose trousers are heaven sent. So comfy and my tummy doesn't feel squished at all. There's lots of the room for the Little One to grow into actually. I am lucky that I am pregnant at a time that these are the style of trousers in fashion!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spin A Win!

I think the Little One gets excited about Fashion Week as much as I do. When my friend Sarj and I went to the Bryant Park tents yesterday to watch the Pamella Roland F/W 2009 runway show, she (yes! we are having a little girl!) was kicking and moving inside my tummy as we stood in line at the McCafe booth (my friend Sarj had to get her coffee fix, I indulged by having a decaf iced coffee heehee!). I think the Little One knew she was inside the tents!



Because we had time to kill, we passed by the Havaianas booth to check out what goodies they had in store. Last season, Sarj said they were giving away free flip flops! But when we got there, they had this wheel of tiny colorful flip flops which we could spin. If you land on a metallic flip flop, you get a sling bag! Well, they say pregnant women are lucky and guess what! I won a red sling bag for the Little One (choices were black, pink and red. Because I think red is lucky, and well, it went with my outfit for the day, I got the red one!)



Check out the strap made out of the same rubber as the flip flops! Cute! The hardware on this sling bag was pretty high quality too! I think this would make a handy dandy bag for summer!


Sarj won this cute keychain with candy, which she generously gave me. She said it would fit the Little One! Hahaha! Sarj is such a hoot!


A photographer inside the tents approached me and asked to have a picture of my bag taken. Silly me handed out the Havaianas sling bag to him and he said, "No, I want to take a picture of you with the bag!" Ooops! So I posed gladly although a bit too self-consciously for him, but forgot to ask where the picture would come out. Oh well!

This is what I wore yesterday...


Playsuit/Romper: A.P.C.
Tights: Topshop Maternity
Boots: Golden Goose

Here's my romper up close...


I love how I can wear this for summer too with sandals or my fave Chucks. Notice the belly bulge? I'm almost 23 weeks now! How time flies!

Oh, speaking of the Pamella Roland show, since the designer is a celebrity fave, Sarj and I did spot a couple of celebs! We had a blast trying to identify them, haha! Cheesy but fun! Nicky and Paris Hilton were easy to pin down, Sarj saw Kelly Pickler, I noticed Kristen Bell and we thought Amanda Bynes was Lindsay Lohan from the side. We also saw America's Next Top Model's Miss J and Nigel Barker (Sarj nudged me and said "Why are they taking a picture of this guy beside us? Who is he anyway?, of course I was like, "Sarj! That's Nigel Barker!" Hahaha!)

Too bad of all the days I would forget to bring my camera to the tents, this was the day! Oh well! I hope my narrative was entertaining enough!

(Photo of the Havaianas booth from racked.com)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Playing With Fur

My friend Lindsay and I had a bit of fun the other day...


Because we played dress up with these vintage Sonia Rykiel furs, that made us look like Care Bears...





We even got Nicole to try on this crazy fur vest...


These definitely do not look like grandma furs right?! If you think what we tried on were pretty wild, check out these Sonia Rykiel furs from F/W 2008...






They look like the bigger, badder, outrageous descendants of the vintage ones we tried on huh?!

(Photos from style.com)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sweets for Your Sweet, Sugar for Your Honey

I couldn't help but smile at how witty this Pepper Lunch Valentine promotion is! Because I'm guessing this was inspired by Gossip Girl's Kiss on the Lips Party, with Cecile being a huge Gossip Girl fan. This is going to be fun! If I were back home, I might just go to watch couples kiss, hahaha! Hey, I'm sure a lot would do anything for a free Molten a la Mode right? The sweet treat only goes to the first 100 couples who have no qualms kissing in front of the cashier by the way!



Now since we are on the subject of sweetness and Valentine's Day, fresh flowers cannot be too far behind. If you are looking for special flowers for your special someone, then check out the gorgeous blooms from Bloom Service, their tulips are flown in directly from Holland and the roses come fresh from Ecuador!





To order, message them through their multiply site, text Dom at 0917.888.03.86 or 0917.810.62.74 or email bloomservice2009@gmail.com and leave the following details:

NAME:
CONTACT DETAILS:
- MOBILE/ LANDLINE
- EMAIL
- ORDER
- DATE AND TIME NEEDED

Once your order is confirmed, you can have the flowers delivered free within Makati or you may choose to pick up from:

4 Cabildo st Urdaneta Village Makati 1225
0917.810.62.74

OR

4 Rizal St. Ayala Heights Village Quezon City
0917 888 03 86

No excuses not to get flowers if you live within the vicinity right?!

PICK UP DATES
FEB 13 Friday 9am onwards & FEB 14 Saturday 9am onwards

Unarosa News

See Unarosa's latest collection at their SM Mall branches - SM Megamall and The Block SM North Edsa!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Hygiene is In!

I've always been wary of using make-up and skin care samples from cosmetic counters. The idea of testing something that so many other people have used just grosses me out. That's why I love the Shiseido store near our place because they are just so liberal with their samples that are packaged in such cute little containers that I can bring home. No shared pots, compacts, lipstick tubes or whatever. I usually buy one thing, and I get a bagful of samples enough to last me weeks! I'm also amazed at how Sephora here is so generous with their throw-away make-up applicators, removers and tissues. These are just on stand-by ready to be used, without having to ask a sales associate for a single-use sponge, mascara wand or eyeshadow applicator.

Turns out it pays to err on the side of paranoia. Especially since testers and make-up counters harbor germs - "from the type of staph bacteria found on doorknobs to E. coli, a fecal bacteria transmitted via contaminated hands", according to an article by Wendy Korn for prevention.com. Eeeww!

So, how do we make sure we do not get the short end of the (lip)stick when we're out to stock up on make-up and skin care supplies? Here are some tips and reminders from make-up hygiene advocate Sydney Go...


1. Remember, you can get warts, skin irritations, herpes, or eye infections from contaminated make-up.

2. Samples in cosmetic counters are generally safe to use if ALL consumers use disposable sponges/brushes. If someone uses the sponge with the powder, and you use the same powder with a different sponge, it's still not that safe. But if from the beginning, the beauty associate uses new sponges, then definitely it lessens the chances of contamination.

WIth other cosmetic applicators, keep this in mind:
- With mascara brush, NO disposable brush or even the same tube brush should be pumped TWICE into the tube. If you need to pump again, use another disposable brush.
- With lipstick, it's better to use a lip brush (than swipe it directly on your lips), we don't know if a previous user has herpes (which btw, if one has it, it dies down but sometimes it can erupt again).
- With lipglosses, it's the same idea as liptsicks.
- It is safest NOT to share your cosmetics with other people.

3. For makeovers, check with the make-up artist if they have their own set of makeup brush tools which should at least be cleaned with a cosmetic brush cleaner (every week for general cleaning. every after use for sanitation).

4. Be aware that there are some cosmetic counters/spas who reuse make up sponges/facial sponges/applicators. We as customers should be more active in demanding single-use sponges and applicators. According to Sydney, "Some brands say --the consumers don't ask for it, so they don't give new ones. It's a sad state."

4. To stress further, be sure to be active in demanding for what you deserve especially if the brand you're buying is not cheap and they can surely afford to give you a clean sponge, etc. For salons and spas, there are other items which may be reused. It's best to be vigilant and finicky about the items used on you especially the ones used closest to your skin and face and other body parts. Make sure the machines, equipment etc are sterilized to kill the bad bacteria.

Oh, and since we are on the subject of hygiene, here's a latest discovery - the Sevà Mat and Towel Refresher that is perfect for gym rats, boxing enthusiasts and yoga (especially bikram yoga) addicts!



This refresher spray was created to be applied onto mats, towels and clothing that are often soaked by heavy sweating (just what I needed when I was doing Bikram yoga, my yoga mat had to be air dried after each use because I would drip buckets of sweat and the towel on top always got soaked through!). Hygienic, environment-friendly and non-toxic, it is safe to spray on children's clothing, an exercise towel, or even your kitchen towel. Not only does this refresher spray kill unwanted dirt and bacteria, its squeaky clean lemon scent gives off a freshly laundered smell.

To use: Just spray on the area you want, and leave it to air dry after each washing. You may spray on mats and towels before and after each use. For clothing, spray before wearing clothes for your daily exercise.

Available for Php350 per bottle at:
Aura Athletica Power Plant Mall
Certified Calm at Shangri-la Plaza,
Pulse Yoga Greenhills (02) 721 7900
Pulse Yoga Makati (02) 468 4165.

For those abroad interested in getting the Seva Mat & Towel refresher, you may email Sydney at snr_ent@pldtdsl.net to inquire about shipping costs to your country.

Caveat Emptor + A Lesson in Customer Service

Filipinos are a very patient lot. We don't raise a fuss even when we are wronged. We always try to avoid a confrontation if we can help it. Sometimes, we just let things go to avoid the hassle. But I think we should all learn to speak up and say our piece when we feel we are not getting the fair end of the deal. One thing I appreciate about buying items in the US is the reasonable return policy. If you find something wrong with the product, whether it's not the right size, it didn't look the way it did on the website, or even if you are just simply not happy with it, they'll take it back no questions asked as long as the product is unused and is in its original packaging with the tags and all. If you need to replace a crappy item, they'll give you a new one, no prob! If you want a refund, fine! Here, the customer is king, and they will do anything to please the customer, just so he/she will go back to buy more, and hey, maybe even spread the word about their product and service. Which makes business sense. A happy customer is a customer for a lifetime. Not only that, happy customer's family and friends will be customers for a lifetime too. Just imagine the multiplier effect on business revenues generated from a single customer! One doesn't have to go to graduate business school to realize that!

So when a friend, who is based in Manila, bought a phone from an authorized brand distributor in a mall (not from the tiangge because she wanted the assurance of quality) and paid a huge sum of money for a brand spanking new unit, and she realized she did not get a brand new unit at all, she immediately asked for a replacement. But when she found out that the remaining units in the store had either messages or photos in it, she got really riled up. She was paying for a brand new unit and she wanted a new, unused phone given the amount of money she was parting with. She sought help from the brand executives and after the latter made arrangements to send her a brand new unit, was told that the distributor would be handling the incident from thereon.

While my friend was lucky to have access to the higher-ups and was immediately sent a brand new unit, I can't help but wonder how ordinary people who have no connections would deal with this issue if they had no guts or means to complain? What is more disconcerting is that an authorized retailer would sell phones that were either test units or have been used (however slightly) without advising the customer beforehand. A little transparency would never hurt. If the customer was willing to wait a day or so for a brand new unit, then it is still an item sold, even if it was not sold right that moment.

When my friend followed up on the status of the incident, as she felt those concerned were being mum on the incident, she was told that erring staff had been suspended. Of course, it annoyed her that she had to follow up herself and was not given updates on how the investigation was progressing. According to her, she did not get the explanation she wanted.

Now here's a lesson on customer service that I think we as customers should expect, and that we as retailers/marketers/service providers should keep in mind to keep everyone happy. As long as we are all happily buying and selling, we will keep the market churning!

In this scenario, I think that when a retailer is faced with a customer complaint, they should immediately get down to the bottom of this and give the unsatisfied customer an explanation as to how and why the incident happened. If it will take a while to investigate, then at least provide constant updates just to assure the customer that the matter has your attention. Keeping silent will just raise the suspicion of the customer. If the salespeople in the store screwed up, then apologize. If President Obama was humble enough to say "I screwed up" when his appointees Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer quit, then I hope we all learn to summon the integrity to own up to our faults as well. We are all human and we do not always have control over things. Customers easily forgive once they understand that the company/retailer is sincere in addressing their concern. What really matters is we face our problems and issues head on and not just hope for it disappear. I think this kind of mindset is what ails us a people. We somehow think a cosmetic cover up will erase the underlying issue.

Which reminds me a lot about our country's politics. But oh well, this is a fashion blog! I'd rather keep things light and breezy for now!

February 13, 2009: Tresorie Pre-Valentine Sale + Hobbes & Landes Sale!



It's Tresorie's Pre-Valentine's Day Special Sale on Friday, February 13 at 12:00pm!

All designer bags in the store will be priced 25% off (for cash and check payments). Brands on sale include Prada, Goyard, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes. Get special discounts on D! Luxe Accessories and 8 & a Half Clothing as well!

Check out the sale at Tresorie, 2/F Doña Consolacion Bldg., Jupiter Street, Bel-Air Makati.

Oh, and mark your calendar for the Hobbes & Landes Sale too!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Fat Witch

Nothing makes me happier these days than eating eating eating!!!

Look at the pleased look on my face as Dear Hubby, the Little One and I waited for the bus for a day out in Chelsea Market!


This is what the Little One and I had for "breakfast"!!! A Fat Witch Brownie! We were there at Chelsea Market for brunch but I just couldn't resist sneaking in a little something something...




Love the sticker at the back! I can imagine a witch tempting me with this moist and scrumptious delight! Great idea to call me pretty too! Appeals to my vanity! Hihihi!



We had brunch at 202 with Dear Hubby's Harvard friends and we stayed well until 4 pm just chatting and enjoying the food and company! Great thing they didn't kick us out! Hahaha!




This is what I wore underneath that puffer jacket!



Turtleneck sweater: Uniqlo
Dress: H&M
Belt: from my friend Mariane's mom!
Tights: Topshop Maternity
Boots: Lanvin

My boots boots baby!
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