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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Score This Dolce Vita Sandal at SM's 3 Day Sale: April 1-3, 2011

SM 3 Day Sale this Friday, Saturday Sunday and here's one good reason to head out to SM Fashion Forum at SM Mall of Asia: the fringed, fun, and fabulous boho chic DV by Dolce Vita Maraco Sandals for Php1,000 ONLY!


This sandal comes in black and dark brown, and used to retail for Php4,550 so that's about 80% OFF the original price. And get this, when you purchase any item at SM Fashion Forum before 12 noon on April 1, you get an additional 10% OFF. So, this sandal will just be Php900. At this price, buy both colors na! That's no April Fool's Day joke!

Congratulations Raissa!


You've won the Khaki Face Orient Watch!

Please email me at manilafashionobserver@gmail.com so we can make arrangements to ship your prize!

How Many Pairs of Shoes Do You Own?




Leighton Meester has 60

Leigh Lezark has 300

Poppy Delavigne has 30, and

Olivia Chantecaille says, "Depends if you ask me or my husband".

Giovanna Battaglia has "350 or something".

Ahhh! Beware of that "something", it could mean a lot more.

Meanwhile, I think I have around 25. Or something. Maybe I should do a re-count!

Let's do it when Dear Hubby is not around, hahaha!

Blast From the Past

top: Bimba & Lola, jeans: J Brand Lovestory, bangles: Alexis Bittar & Fenton/Fallon, belt: J.Crew, 
bag: Mulberry Alexa, wedges: ChloƩ

Good thing the 70s are back with a vengeance. I am finding myself reviving stuff from the recesses of my closet, not that it's deep. Got these J Brand Lovestory jeans from eLuxury back in 2006. eLuxury has since been replaced by Nowness.com.

These J Brands are skinny on the thighs and flare down once they hit the knee. They're the most perfect flares I've ever had, and it's a shame I hardly get to wear them because I don't really wear heels or wedges in my daily life.

Except this day, when my friend Frances passed by for us at our apartment for our brunch with the kiddos. Which meant we didn't have to walk far, or take the bus or subway. So, I took my wedges out for a spin , and after three long years, they again saw the light of day.

Sweet 16

Ray- Ban aviators, denim shirt: Swish Jeans, shorts: Old Navy, oxfords: Anthology

Here I am wearing a denim shirt I had since I was 19. That makes this top almost 16 years old. And it looks just as good when I first got it at Linea Italia, back in the day. Is Linea still around? I remember they used to have really good stuff when they first opened, and then the quality of the pieces just slid down the gutter. I got this when they still had decent pieces, I mean, hello. This shirt is still alive. I think I can even pass this on to Berry.

Speaking of Berry, she took this photo. Vantage point from her stroller:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Singapore Eats: Spruce

 Like Jones the Grocer, I first heard of Spruce from Naomi. She told me that it was so near our place, and was a great place for brunch. So when I set a date with our friend Sunny, who had also just moved to Singapore from New York, and Oliver of AVA.ph, who was here for a quick visit, I thought we might as well try Spruce!


Spruce is located inside Phoenix Park on Tanglin Road. It's fairly easy to get here, as you can take a bus plying the Tanglin Road route, or just get here by car or cab. It's right by the entrance of Phoenix Park so no worries about walking too far from the road.

Here's what we ordered:



Berry and I shared this Momotaro Tomato Soup (S$14), rich, thick and creamy, with just the right tangy-ness too it 

Oliver had the Spinach and Bacon Salad - roasted chicken, egg, apples, manchego cheese and walnuts (S$19)

Berry had Grandpas Meatballs - parmesan buns, arugula and tomato sugo (S$15), an appetizer really, but was like a good size burger for Berry. She found this so cute!



Sunny & I both ordered Spruce's Signature Burger with homemade pickles and havarti cheese (S$17), arguably one of the best burgers I've tried here in Singapore. With a thick, juicy beef patty that is cooked to perfection.

Spruce has both indoor and outdoor seating, all together, a casual, quiet and breezy place to enjoy a leisurely brunch. It's just like dining at the patio of a friend's house. When the kids get bored, they can just head out to the playground where parents can watch over them from their tables. Best of all, when you go on a weekday, there are lots of seating with no wait at all.

Spruce
320 Tanglin Rd
Singapore 247980
Weekdays: 12pm-3pm
(+65) 6836 5528

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Berry in Trumpette, Mommy in Sperry Top-sider

Actually, make that "Like Daughter, Like Mother".

Sarj got these red boat shoes from Trumpette for Berry's 1st birthday a couple months, no make that almost a year ago (they fit her now, yay!). And that was what got me inspired: I should get a pair for myself too! Especially since Dada has navy ones (such a trendsetter that Dada!) and I'd be left out when Dada and Berry wear their boat shoes.

Come to think of it, I was the last in our family to get a pair! And I fancy myself a tastemaker,  imagine that! Hahaha!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Manhattan for Mommies


My friend Pat will be going to NY sans nanny this April, so she asked me for tips on where to take her toddler around Manhattan.

Then this afternoon, Jenny of Mama Baby Love also left  me a comment, asking how to do New York with her daughter and niece in tow.

Well, since I was a batang kalye back in the day, and often scoured the streets of Manhattan by foot, yes, with Berry, I know how much of a challenge it can be to go around Manhattan if you don't know where to take the little one. So here's a list of my kid friendly places, in the big, bad (and I mean it in a good way!) city of NYC! (Sigh, I still feel a pang in my heart when I talk about NYC)

First things first Mommies, let me warn you that New York City subways are not stroller friendly. I was lucky that when I used to take the subway, Berry was so light that I could lift her and her stroller up the stairs to get to the street. If your little one is young, you are better off with a baby carrier or a baby sling.


I would say it is best to see Manhattan by foot, with a light, very manueverable stroller on hand. This comes especially handy when the little one falls asleep. Make sure it is easy to fold and unfold when you take the cab or need to put it aside in crowded restaurants.

The glamorous Salome Uy pushing Berry's stroller in the Meatpacking District

Since you will be doing a lot of walking, please leave the heels and wedges at home. Make sure to wear comfortable flats, or a pair of sneakers. Real New Yorkers rarely walk around in heels, and will do so if it only means walking a few blocks to get coffee or go down for a smoke. Nobody walks the whole day in heels, because frankly, the streets are a killer to your shoes and your feet. For some reason Manhattan's concrete can really wear your heels down. If you can afford to go around by cab or have a limo driver at your disposal all the time, then yes, you can wear heels.

Now, where to go?

I will start off with the parks - because they're fun, and they're free. I like Bryant Park because it's small and cozy. You may let the little ones run after the pigeons and when they tire of that, let them ride Le Carrousel. The New York Public Library is just a stone's throw and did I mention that Fifth Avenue is right around the corner?


Berry all sweaty after chasing pigeons in the park

Then of course, there's Central Park. Lots of space to run around in. Maybe skip the track around the Jackie O. Reservoir lest you be run over by overzealous bikers and runners. Best to pay a visit to the animals at the Central Park Zoo!

Dada, Berry & I in Central Park West

Then of course, there's Madison Square Park, home of the first ever Shake Shack! Get a table and knock yourselves out with a scrumptious sundae, or heck, OD on milkshakes and greasy burgers! Yummeh! I know I have a picture of those burgers somewhere...

Next up, museums. Not the sort that will bore them silly, but the sort that will keep them transfixed and in awe. The stuff that childhood memories are made of.


American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th St.
New York, NY 10024
(212) 769-5100



Children's Museum of Manhattan

The Tisch Building
212 West 83rd Street
New York, NY 10024
(212) 721-1223
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 10am - 5pm


New York City Fire Museum
278 Spring Street
between Varick and Hudson Streets
New York, NY 10013
(212) 691-1303


Childrens Museum of the Arts
182 Lafayette St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 941-9198

Now I know that to get Berry to behave, this always works: "Berry, if you're good, we'll get ice cream!". That almost always nips a tantrum in the bud. So that you know what to bribe the little ones with, let's go to tasty treats!

Well, the Lower East Side is not exactly an easy place to get to, but I always find a reason to go there - Doughnut Plant. One bite of these delightful doughnuts, and O.M.G. I have no words. Dean & Deluca sells doughnuts from Doughnut Plant, but I only go there as a last resort. You gotta have to get these doughnuts fresh ya know.

With Aunt Sarj & Aunt Happy

If you can get your kids to sit still, and act like a little lady, then Alice's Tea Cup might just be her cup of tea. It's a tiny tiny little tea shop but Manhattan mommies with little girls in tutus often come here to have tea and scones.


See how pretty?


Stepping into Dylan's Candy Bar is enough to give you a sugar high. When Berry goes inside, she always can't seem to decide if she wants a lollipop, gummi bears, chocolate balls  or candy coated whatnots from the vast number of confections inside! She would flit from one area to another, unable to come to a decision. A sweet dilemma!


Berry with a bag of gummi bears, but still eyeing these colorful candy coated chocolate balls

Little boys will get a kick out FAO Schwarz. Remember the movie Big, where Tom Hanks's character played on that giant keyboard? This is where it's at, baby!


I'll be honest, I have never been inside American Girl Place because Berry was still a baby then, and she wouldn't appreciate dolls yet. My Mom was telling me to go anyway and buy a doll for Berry, but we never found the time for it. My friend Naomi says its so easy to get caught up buying dolls and doll clothes and accessories there, so many cute things! There's a cafe inside too, which I am sure the little girls will adore!


Of course, Mommy has to shop too right? It can't be just parks and museums, toys and gumdrops! Heehee!

While Barneys, Bergdorfs and Saks are pretty much kid friendly and equipped with clean washrooms and elevators and such, I've always had a joyful time browsing BG Kids at Bergdorf Goodman



But really, you can't go wrong with Bergdorfs, Saks and Barneys. All are lovely places to browse, kill time, dream and indulge!

And because I am a downtown girl at heart, I heart heart heart SoHo! Not the most kid friendly place if you consider tourist-filled Broadway and the cobblestone streets, but still! I love SoHo. Just stay away from Broadway and keep yourself at Mercer, Prince, Broome, Grand, Greene, ok basically SoHo except Broadway, hahaha.

Berry in UNIQLO SoHo

So there, I think these places will keep you pretty busy if you stay in Manhattan for a week or two. There are more places I have in mind, lots of little kid-friendly  nooks and crannies of cafes and shops to discover, but I don't want to overwhelm you. All in all, New York may have a reputation for being a big and heartless city, but it is a very baby friendly place really. When kids cry, you won't get a stare down from strangers. New Yorkers will help you carry your stroller up the stairs, will run after you when your kid loses one sandal,  SAs will cluck cluck and amuse your little one while you shop. Really, they just adore babies there! Wish I can say the same for the place where I am at now you know. Sigh, I miss New York. I am pretty sure Berry does too.

TIPS FOR THE NANNYLESS:
- instead of a diaper bag, pack all of the little one's essentials in a reusable tote. Much lighter.
- I used to breastfeed in dressing rooms or inside St. Patrick's
- Just walk so you don't have to be bothered with taking the subway or a cab

Seventy Eight Percent Now at schu Rockwell!



Naomi, Ruby & I were on the lookout for another bag to add to schu's repertoire, and while walking around  the malls along Orchard, we discovered Seventy Eight Percent satchels. At first sight, we were blown away by the craftsmanship of the bags.

Based in Hongkong, Shai Levy, the owner, personally oversees production of these handmade bags , which are made from Japanese linen and Italian vegetable tanned leather. Read Style Salvage's in-depth interview with Shai HERE, so you can truly appreciate what Seventy Eight Percent is all about.

We decided to bring these beautiful satchels to Manila, which we feel will be much appreciated by those who understand design and value enduring quality . After all, these satchels were made to age gracefully and should last you a lifetime.

DIMITRI 

Price: Php 22,499
Dimensions: [37 cm x 24 cm x 6.5 cm ( 14.5” x 9.5” x 2.5” )]

• A briefcase for the creative urban nomad who wants to carry around just the day-to-day essentials.
• Made from Japanese waxed canvas and Italian top-quality vegetable-tanned leather.





ZAZIE

Price: Php 16,399
Dimensions: [26 cm x 17 cm x 7.5 cm ( 10.2” x 6.7” x 2.9” )]

• The Zazie is our designer urban briefcase that can act as a stylish handbag.
• A grand solution when you just want to limit yourself to the small stuff.
• Made from Japanese waxed canvas and Italian top-quality vegetable-tanned leather




78% can be used as a briefcase, and comes with a detachable leather & cotton shoulder strap as well. My friend Kat managed to take a photo, it really looks better when you see the bag up close:


The design really is unique and distinctive, and because these are hand-crafted, really special. As 78% likes to say, "only a few will know". We'd like to think we're ahead of the curve, but well, Susie Bubble beat us to this when she featured Kapok, a shop in Hongkong, which has been selling 78% since last year.

Not too late for us though, because chocolate schu bar Rockwell  has these IN STORE NOW! See for yourself why we've gone stark, raving mad for these satchels. Go soon as there are limited pieces, to make it more special for the owner of each satchel ;)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Private Sale

That's open to you dear readers! Just print out this flyer:


March 26 to 27, Renaissance 3000, Meralco Avenue, Pasig City

Monday, March 21, 2011

RIIR Sale!


Visit the Rags2Riches Showroom:
Unit 3B Cubao Expo
Gen. Romulo Ave.
Araneta Center, Cubao
Quezon City

Sale ends on March 31, 2011.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Showing Grandma Some Love



I am so pleased that Grandma's Secret Spot Remover has been getting a lot of wonderful feedback! I just thought I'd share with you some love from Grandma's fans:

I have to thank you for this, I started using it when you first blogged about it and removed ink stains that has been there for months :) Also, I bought the wrinkle free from them too :) - Candy

How timely naman your blog post!...I've been desperate to get my hands on some grandma's secret spot remover. I just finished my last bottle, which I got in NY last year...That stain remover saved a lot of my clothes. - Mariel C.

I just bought mine this morning in Shang and it worked wonders on the 3-yr grape juice stain on my husband's rubber shoes! I am now a fan! Thanks for blogging about this! :) - Anonymous

On this note, you might also want to know that Grandma's has new stockists!

- Baby & Beyond
G2 Strata Suites 300
P. Guevarra Street, San Juan

- Red Dot Laoag
72 F.R Castro Avenue
Laoag City, Ilocos Norte

- Red Dot Vigan
Bonifacio St corner Gov. A. Reyes St
Barangay 1, Vigan City

- Red Dot Tuguegarao
#57 College Avenue, Centro 08
Tuguegarao City

Coming Soon:

 - Play Studio
2nd Level, Robinson's Place
Bacolod City

Grandma's is also available at Shopspot and at Momtrepreneur Shop at the 4th Level, Shangril-la Mall. To learn more about Grandma's Secret Spot Remover, read here.

Fashion Mavens, Meet AVA


AVA Teaser HD from Andrai Antonio on Vimeo.

Girls, I know I've been going on and on about AVA, Here's the story, it On the Radar.

More than just selling handpicked items, below what we would pay at retail, what's really special about AVA, is their desire to promote Philippine design. According to Jen Kelly, AVA co-founder,  

"We're really working with the premiere local designers from apparel to shoes to accessories instead of only offering foreign brands. 

AVA is different because we're really invested in growing the Philippine fashion industry and become a platform for Philippine designers to be discovered and loved around the world." 

A lofty goal that holds water. With Harvard Business school educated, proudly Pinoy co-founders Oliver & Jen at AVA's helm, consider it done.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Designer Fashion Workshops 2011 Summer Schedule

Because life should be lived doing the things you love, there's no excuse to take time from your hectic life to enroll in Saturday (except for Basic Sewing) classes this summer (and hey, classes start at 12 noon so you don't have to wake up early, heehee!). Here is Designer Fashion Workshops 2011 Summer Schedule and sessions start on April 9, 2011 (click on image to enlarge):


Registration closes on March 30, so if you are a student looking for something to do this summer, or you have a career, but simply want to indulge in a passion you've long been wanting to nurture, here ya go!

Fashion Styling


Fashion Illustration

Pattern Drafting

Basic Sewing (classes start April 5, Tuesdays & Fridays)

Other courses offered are Draping, Fashion Design, Accessories Design as well as Fashion Styling Internship.

Workshops are held at:
iAcademy
3F, PhilFirst Bldg.
6764 Ayala Avenue
Makati City, PH

For more information and inquiries contact Jessica Tan-Gan:
email: designerfashiondesignerfashionworkshops@gmail.com
Tel. 994.5592 or 0918.8031322

To learn more,  please visit the "Designer Fashion Workshops" Facebook page.
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