Bauble Bar spring cleaning



How is everyone’s Easter break coming along? Mine is just perfect with my family in Canada. I always look forward to the cold so I can wear my layers and jackets. But this Canada cold is beyond “porma” (as Liza Ilarde asked me). I’m just in my padded jacket everyday. I wish I had a parka. It’s that cold.

The spring styles are now in stores. Very exciting. But I’m holding out with my shopping. Because it’s still so cold. We’ll be in minus 2 degree weather this weekend.

I’m already eyeing some fabulous accessories in stores and made mental look books. But then I surfed through partner site Bauble Bar and found a lot of similar styles at a fraction of the price! At Bauble Bar, you get fabulous accessories “minus the middle man markup”.

Check out some cute items I found in their site (captions are theirs not mine).

Rose Luce Boho Drops

Sometimes the simplest designs can pack a powerful punch. Just check out this alluring … [More]

Price: 24.00



Opal Floral Drops

Go feminine and flirty with this striking set of earrings. They flaunt a beautiful flor… [More]

Price: 24.00



Voodoo Hindsight Duo

They say hindsight is 20/20, but you won’t miss a thing when sporting this evil eye cha… [More]

Price: 26.00



Onyx Elizabeth Drops

These gorgeous earrings work an ultra-feminine mood with that luxe set of glittering ge… [More]

Price: 26.00



Mint Gem Braid Collar

We’re mad for the cool combination of motifs here, from the braided suede to the sparkl… [More]

Price: 42.00



Ice Gem Link Drops

Delight in the discotheque vibe of these glamorous gem-encrusted earrings. Not only do … [More]

Price: 32.00



Gold Essex Necklace

If you’re thinking Essex, England, think again. We named this striking necklace after t… [More]

Price: 42.00



Mint Cabo Fringe Cuff

We’ve always loved cabochon-style stones for their Dolce Vita, Fifties-meets-Sixties Ci… [More]

Price: 32.00



Gold Pearl Burst Bracelet

It’s hard to resist this deluxe piece de resistance. It features gorgeous pearl stran… [More]

Price: 34.00



Bubblegum Bauble Bib

What’s pretty and pink and oh-so-playful? This statement bib, of course! This bold st… [More]

Price: 36.00



BaubleBar Spring Cleaning Sale: We Raided The Archive To Give You Up To 60% Off These Fabulous Finds!



Get Up To 60% Off At BaubleBar's Spring Cleaning Sale




Vacation at home



Sorry for the lack of posts. We travelled. To my old home in Canada. I have yet to upload photos from my big camera. For now, if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you sort of know what I’ve been up to.

We booked our tickets with PAL specifically because of the new direct flights to Toronto. But unfortunately by March 15th they announced that it wasn’t so direct anymore – that they’d stop in Vancouver and let some passengers off. No big deal. It was just an extra hour of waiting in the Vancouver gate. We still had to clear customs and immigration in Toronto. The big hassle was in NAIA. PAL was ready and on time but we couldn’t take off because of the long line at the runway. Even the pilot sounded frustrated. That was a 90-minute delay.


Airport adventures.
After 10 years of experience as a mom, traveling with small kids isn’t so daunting anymore. The hardest was when they were 6yrs, 3yrs and 10 months old. No, the hardest was when Soph was 11 months and I traveled alone with her. Long haul. This time the kids were calm and focused on their personal video screens. I was the one who had a mishap – spilled two full glasses of white wine and water on myself. Good thing I always travel with extra leggings.


No more 34 degree heat. This is not Manila. #snow
The entire time of planning, the kids wished for snow. We landed on the first day of Spring. And this is what we got.


Everyone's sick of winter but our kids are still chasing snow.
While most Canadians have sworn off winter at this point, my tropical babies played in the backyard wearing borrowed winter jackets.


We took a stroll down by the lake in Oakville. I’d forgotten how biting cold my old life used to be.


Lolo and Lola with the big baby.
The best part of this vacation is being with family. Happiest with Lolo and Lola.


I love going to toy stores. Here's a froufrou one in Oakville. A huge #dinosaur stuffed toy for a kid who has everything.
Toy stores (and all shops) are starting to look the same in any city you visit. This was different. A giant stuffed dinosaur.
Dealing with jetlag everyday.


Randomly saw 3 deer by the side of this road near a residential area.
This is a place where deer and other “wildlife” roam freely. Here are not-so-wild deer getting used to snackies at the side of the road.


Canada goose (geese). Not the brand. Just the real things. In the suburbs.
Canada geese, chilling by the side of another road.


At West Queen West with my sister @joholmes
My sister Johanna took us to West Queen West, a formerly-seedy neighbourhood that has undergone rapid transformation and is known as the art and design district – lots of art galleries, bars, cafes and a couple of boutique hotels.


The Drake Hotel. #gentrification #parkdale #westqueenwest #toronto @thedrakehotel
The Drake Hotel is a building from 1890’s when this Parkdale neighbourhood was still posh and surrounded with a few mansions. Sometime in the latter half of the 20th century, Parkdale fell into hard times and deteriorated. It was scary here. In the recent past, the area attracted artists and designers. And now it has been gentrified. The Drake has been reborn as a boutique hotel. It is adorable. I will post photos from my big camera soon.


DJ's booth at @thedrakehotel
The Drake’s DJ booth with old school sound equipment.


#Photobooth at the lobby of @thedrakehotel. #irony #hipster
The lobby was awesome. Original granolithic pebble wash flooring. A fat tufted couch. Randomly placed photobooth in this corner. It felt very Pulp Fiction. More on The Drake later.


It's melting. #snow #spring
The snow was starting to melt yesterday. It’s 1°C this morning.


The two kids can't kick their jetlag and my suffering has tripled....
Still jetlagged. Stella skipped dinner last night. Lily ate with her eyes half-closed. Today we were up at 4am again. Sophia is the only one who’s well-adjusted.



Isabel’s Dynasty



This is adorable. I had no idea that my little habit of writing thank you notes left an imprint on Isabel Gatuslao. She writes about it here. Funny, like Isabel, I’ve also kept all the notes that Lucy Torres-Gomez has sent me. She is a serial note sender and gift giver. Truly a lovely woman.

Part of my branding exercise with Isabel in 2011 was to come up with my own personal and brand stationery. The design has been created since day one of our project. But I haven’t gotten around to giving the go signal to print. Part of me is holding back because I love other designer’s stationery. And I don’t mind sending them out. But I know, I know… I must have my own. For now, I actually have post cards, also designed by Isabel.

Isabel just released her second collection of paper products. This one is called Dynasty and is inspired by all things China. In her usual Isabel way, nothing is cliche or over-done. Yes, you’ll see golds and metallics, but they are balanced off with pastel-coloured graphic patterns that have a whisper of chinoiserie.

The awesome part is, you can now buy Isabel Gatuslao Paper from anywhere in the world through her online shop. All photos by Terry Uy.




Harbor is a very strong Chinese icon – the junk. Isabel gives it a very fresh and modern feel by embossing the icon with copper and lining the back with a water pattern in pastel jade. Adorable. Photo by Isabel Gatuslao.


Foo is obviously so because of the foo dogs. Love the metallic blue tint and the latticework pattern in the back.


Yang shows a metallic embossed dragon peeking out of the edge of the paper. This is Yang in Ying and Yang. The pattern shows oriental clouds enclosed in geometric patterns.


Each set is still P475 each. It includes 10 Flat Note Cards, 10 Envelopes & 10 Sticker Seals. The online shop ships anywhere in the Philippines and globally through freight partner UPS. Also available in National Bookstore Rockwell, National Bookstore Shangri-La and PowerBooks Greenbelt 3.

Read about Isabel’s inspiration and design process here.



RiRi Woo



Here’s a collaboration I’m excited about. RiRi <Hearts> MAC.

Specifically the signature piece of the collection, a lipstick called Riri Woo (inspired by the cult favourite MAC Red Ruby Woo).

I can’t say I’m a Rihanna fan. But this line that she’s developing for MAC looks so promising!


rihanna mac
Rihanna. Photo by Mary Brownfeld. Source, WWD.


MAC has collaborated with a few brands and celebrities in the past, but this is the first time MAC is working with a celebrity for more than just one project. This is a “long-term relationship” that will see four distinct colour collections.

RiRi Woo will be exclusively sold online beginning May 2013 at and at Rihanna’s Diamonds Tour concerts.

A summer collection will follow, which includes two more lipstics, a Lustre Drops shade and a powder blush duo. This will also be sold online. A third set, which will be sold in stores for Fall, include four lipsticks, a deeply pigmented Lipglass version of RiRi Woo, two multishade eye shadow palettes and false lashes. The fourth collection will be released just in time for Holiday season – 10 pieces which include nail polish, makeup bags and additional lipsticks. I’ll keep you posted as soon as I find out if MAC Philippines brings these in.

Here is MAC’s Riri Woo.

Can’t wait.

RiRi Woo


Olay Conversations: Denise Laurel



I love this series of webisodes by P&G Beauty — Olay Conversations. They’ve chosen a group of women whose may stories inspire you in different ways. The women are so diverse that you are bound to relate to one if not all of them.


The women of Olay Conversations with Boy Abunda – Priscilla Mireilles-Estrada, Mons Romulo, Bea Alonzo, Denise Laurel, Crickette Tantoco.


This is Denise Laurel’s story. Denise, as we know, is a TV actress. At what seemed like the height of her career, she got pregnant. She tells her story about her fears, not just of losing the job she’s worked so hard for, but of disappointing her parents and family. Very touching.


Denise Laurel