The homefront

 

 

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It’s been a while since I posted stories about my home and my family. I have to admit that this blog has taken on a different turn from what it used to be like. I remember when my blog was still Daphne’s Diary and only a handful of people were blogging, it was filled with random little nothings about my life. And you were all there to keep me company. As the blog grew, it somehow became a product of my “work” like part of the official brand DAPHNE®. Collaborations came in and with top retailers! The luxury bed linen line with SM Homeworld and Our Home, my furniture line that retailed in Rustan’s and Dimensione, and of course my pride and joy, the DAPHNE x Bench collaboration. I am so grateful and still floored that all that happened and continues to happen. Hint, hint.

Somewhere along the line I feel like I detached myself from the blog a bit too much though. Or am I over-analyzing? Maybe it was because Instagram became too accessible that all my little random diary entries went there instead of here. I didn’t find time to sit down and actually write. Heck, I even stopped using my micro four-thirds camera and DSLR. Today I am drowning in press kits, product samples, event invitations which I appreciate but I also feel like that’s not just what Daphne’s Diary is about. Yes, I talk about products, but I used to share more stories about things I’ve discovered or learned without any marketing or PR activity involved. All authentic stuff. I feel like I owe it to you and myself to get back to my roots. At the very least, all my marketing campaigns are identified. And I also have not partnered with nor supported any campaign that didn’t fit in with my aesthetic and principles. I have declined quite a few.

So I will attempt to balance — business and real life. And please let me know how you feel about it. This is not and never was a mommy blog. So I’m not going that direction. I’m also not an expert on food but admittedly, I am in the process of discovering my inner home-cook talents. Join me on that discovery process. Travel is also a big part of our lives now. Though my 10-week stay in Toronto last year almost went un-blogged. There’s so much I didn’t share about that trip because I was so busy living life at the present moment. Design is still in my vocabulary especially since we are working at doing more home tours. Health, wellness and spirituality make up a huge chunk of my new life now. I won’t preach, but I may tell stories from this journey. Then there will be little anecdotes about my daughters. When I started blogging, I had only one kid. I was pregnant with my second baby, Lily. Now these girls are growing into their own versions of themselves. I’d like to include some of their stories in my blog. Of course security and privacy is an issue, so I can only do so to a point that we are comfortable with.

I guess what I’m saying is, there’s a lot of noise out there. I want this site to continue to be my happy place so I’m regrouping and things are going to change. You are always welcome here.

I just did a fun shoot at home with Xeng Zulueta as the makeup artist and Sandro Paredes as photographer. Xeng and I have worked with each other for a long time. She did some of my most amazing cover shoots. This was totally random and fun. We didn’t even have a hairstylist. I just washed and dried my hair myself. Sorry for the unkempt hair.

But this is what real life is like at home — minus the false lashes.

 

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This is the hallway where my girls’ little feet stomp all over. The house is never quiet when we are home. It is filled with voices, footsteps and laughter. All three daughters are wearing Gingersnaps. My dress is from Sfera, shoes are Repetto.

 

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My masterpiece. Haha. I worked with Rafael Calero of Kitchen Studio. He executed all the ideas I wanted and presented me with more options that I didn’t know existed. I’m loving my kitchen floors. These are treated wood from Matwood. Rafael stained them a certain way so they wouldn’t look too red. In real life they’re lighter. I’m particularly proud of my ceiling. I had this brilliant idea of knocking down the existing ceiling and exposing the roof and beams. But at the time, I didn’t know what lay beneath the ceiling lining. Surprise, surprise… a beautiful structural beam. Oops, it’s hardly in photo. I must show it to you at another occasion.

 

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My kitchen took forever to finish. The reason was because my sink had to be brought in from Kohler, Wisconsin. Yes, Kohler is not only a brand but also a place. It is beautiful. Here are stories from when I visited the Kohler sites in Kohler, Wisconsin. My sink is made of enamelled cast iron. I absolutely love it. P.S. We had to make adjustments to the cabinetry in order to make the sink fit. We initially didn’t know we could have this sink, until I had a “love affair” with the brand officially. My windows are pretty special too. It’s a huge treat to have new windows like this. These are tempered glass and PVC from a German brand called Veka from Fourlinq. As many of you know, the rest of the house has wooden capiz windows. Balance and irony. Haha. Oh, if you’d like to see the video of my kitchen renovation, click here. Top from Sfera, jeans from Uniqlo, shoes from Repetto.

 

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My throne. Seriously. Because every woman must be the queen of her home. Ha!

 

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This Raina chair was a special birthday gift to me by Vito Selma. He sent it to my house right after he showed it in Manila Fame, March of this year. It is, by far, the largest present I’ve ever received. Look at it going through our door on Instagram. I love it! And I adore Vito!  P.S. Dress is from Sfera.

 

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Oh dear, the kitchen beam is still not visible in this photo. Oh well. Here are my three bunnies. We purposely bought three un-matching stools. You can see a bit of a mess behind me. Proof that the kitchen is not “for show.” It’s a real working kitchen. Perhaps only Pinoys will know what I mean about that. Haha. So we dressed up a bit in this shot. I’m wearing a silk dress I bought in Bali from Magali Pascal. Sophia is wearing Rajito by Rajo Laurel. Lily and Stella are wearing Gingersnaps.

 

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The most photographed part of our house is the red door. Every time I have press people over they think they have the “money shot” with the red door. I have to disclose that it’s been done many times. I can actually do an entire series just filled with red door shots! Hmmm, that’s an idea. Future blog entry perhaps. Well, the story here is that the house is really old. It’s the house my husband grew up in. And when we got married, we wanted to give it a bit of a facelift, but slowly. So we began with paint. I wanted red from day one. We also played with colour inside the house — pink hallway, green living room. My advice is, if you don’t have much budget but you want to give your home a boost, start with paint. Don’t be afraid of colour.

 

All photos by Sandro Paredes.
Make up by Xeng Zulueta.

 

 

Our Sweet Christmas

 

 

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I know Christmas starts early in the Philippines. I have friends who put up their Christmas trees on September 1st! As they say, Christmas starts during the “-ber” months. But in our home, we’ve always put up our tree on the first or second weekend of December.

Well this year, we are doing things differently in the Paez house. For one, we have a brand new tree. And secondly, we are trying new ornaments. You know how much we love our old ornaments. They all have a story. They all have sentimental value. Some are precious hand-blown glass and brass balls. (Breakage is always part of annual Christmas memories.) We are keeping them and bringing some out. But for the first time we are doing a themed Christmas tree!

A few days before Halloween, I was walking by the SM Store and couldn’t resist the Christmas decorations. So I went inside and found myself in the Christmas wonderland-like setting at SM Home. They had a wide range of Christmas decor, arranged by colour and themes. They had classic and sophisticated ornaments, cute cartoony Santa decor, toy-inspired accessories, and kiddie versions of Christmas trinkets.

 

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I saw this Christmas candy-themed tree at SM Home. I took a mental note (and stole a phone pic) of the cute peppermint candies!! Inspiration can strike anytime and anywhere.

 

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Then I checked out their Instagram account at @SMhome and found the cutest ornaments. Cupcakes, donuts, ice cream cones! It would go perfectly with the peppermint candies. So I made an executive decision to go with an all-new theme this year. After all, life was extremely sweet for us this year. The kids and Patrick loved it!

 

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I thought that the “Sweet Treats” collection would stand out better on either a white tree or a “snow”-capped tree. Yay for artificial trees. Let it snow!

 

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Look at our new cupcake ornaments!

 

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Soph calls this “dippin’ dots.”

 

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Big fat balls, colourful cupcakes, plastic mini donuts and ice cream cones! All so light!

 

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Stella was my little elf.

 

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She was so good with distributing the ornaments evenly. We had to stop after a few hangings ’til Lily and Sophia could join us.

 

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I only got to hang the ones on top. The girls did everything else. This is the most kid-friendly tree we’ve had. All the ornaments were so light and nothing was breakable.

 

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Our tree is full!

 

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All done!!! But we still need a tree topper. Any suggestions?

 

Check out the different Christmas ornaments and accessories at SM Home at The SM Store. Follow them Facebook at SM Home, Instagram @smhome, and Twitter @SMHome_PH for more information and inspiration.

 

 

Giulio Cappellini

 

 

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been almost two years since I hosted the launch of Cappellini in Manila. It felt like just a year ago. The Cappellini showroom in One Parkade Bonifacio High Street houses some of the most beautifully crafted furniture from the world’s top designers.

 

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Me and Mr Giulio Cappellini at the Nov 2012 launch of the Cappellini showroom in Taguig, Metro Manila.

 

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Cappellini was brought to Manila by Studio Dimensione of Suyen Corporation.

 

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Founded in 1946, Cappellini has become synonymous with contemporary, avant-garde design. Over the years it has launched some of the world’s greatest designers, producing innovative and high quality furnishings. Photo above is of the Showroom at Bonifacio High Street.

 

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Last Nov 2012, Mr Cappellini signed a few key pieces.

 

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A couple of Saturdays ago, Bryan Lim of Suyen Corporation invited me to dinner with Mr Giulio Cappellini. He said it would be a small intimate dinner. It was a wonderful evening with the country’s top architects!

 

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I was seated beside Lucy Torres-Gomez and Anthony Yupangco on this end of the table, across from Ben Chan and Bryan.

 

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My “good-girl” friends from Summit – Alicia Colby Sy & Yvette Fernandez with Kai Lim and Becky Kho of Elle Decoration. I say “good-girl” because Yvette always points that out when we are together. Haha.

 

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With the most beautiful couple in the land, Lucy and Richard.

 

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Ed Calma, Bryan Lim, Ben Chan and Miguel Pastor. These photos (except for the low light phone cam pics) are all from Miguel.)

 

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With Kai, Barbie Pardo and Alicia. (Thought bubble, Kai’s earrings are gorgeous. They look to me like emerald beads. I’m sure they are.)

 

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Mr Giulio Cappellini and me. He signed a miniature paper replica of a Cappellini chair. How I wish my Cappellini chair at home was signed. But I actually have a signed certificate from Marcel Wanders, c/o Studio Dimensione. But that’s another story.

 

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The kindness sandwich – Ben Chan and Lucy Torres Gomez. I am not exaggerating. They are the kindest people I know.

 

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Bryan and Chut Cuerva

 

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Mr Cappellini with architects Ramon Antonio and Gil Coscolluela

 

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Conrad Onglao and the gorgeous Zsa Zsa Padilla

 

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Blackbird at Nielson Tower.

 

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01  Meltdown Floor Lamp by Johan Lindsten;  02 Peg Letto by Nendo;  03 Jacob Wagner ‘s Branch bronzo table;  04 Jasper Morrison’s Monforte.

 

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01 Nendo’s Peg Column;  02 Piero Lissoni’s Lochness;  03  Shiro Kuramata’s Steel Pipe Drink Trolley;  04 Nendo’s Peg Sedia.

 

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01  Jasper Morrison’s Cap Chair;  02 Giulio Cappellini’s Brest uva e champagne; 03 Jasper Morrison’s Thinking Man’s Chair Limited.

 

Cappellini is at One Parkade, Bonifacio High Street, Taguig, Philippines.

 

 

My day at Google

 

 

I was in Silicon Valley a couple of weeks ago to attend the BlogHer conference. Since I had a few days to spare and shopping wasn’t really the goal of the trip, I thought, why not try to get a tour of Google Campus? It is, after all, said to be one of the best companies to work for. And who hasn’t seen the movie The Internship?

So I did some research and found out that one has to be an invited and registered guest in order to get a tour of Google Campus in Mountain View, CA. The setting of the Google offices are spread out like a university campus, hence the popular reference as the “Google Campus.” It is huge. Like in North American universities, anyone can drive or walk through the campus and see the buildings. But you can’t gain access to the buildings unless you are a registered guest.

I found my way to Google through my friend Eliza Romualdez Valtos, who, through her husband Billy, asked a friend in Silicon Valley for a Google contact. One thing led to another and I got connected with Shrikand, who works for Google Chrome. My childhood friend Nina Carino drove me to Mountain View and joined our little tour. Security was strict. We needed to sign in and agree to some conditions.

 

 

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Google Building 43, part of Googleplex.

 

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The Google Campus is set in the quiet town of Mountain View, California. Lots of big trees and bike lanes.

 

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We walked through so many buildings. Here’s a section of Building 43.

 

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I met my host at Google Building 1950

 

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The compound sprawled further. We walked up to the pond area. Then rode the bike on our way back.

 

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So here’s the real “Google Drive”

 

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Very bike-friendly.

 

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Everywhere you look, you see the Google colours.

 

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Adirondack chairs everywhere. I think it’s to get the Googlers’ mindset into a more relaxed state.

 

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With our very patient host, Shrikand.

 

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This is Googleplex. It’s exactly what they showed in the movie The Internship. Here there is a sculpture garden and outdoor cafe.

 

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Public art everywhere. Here is the famous Google dinosaur statue. Apparently the Google founders bought it as a reminder for Googlers not to let the company become extinct like a dinosaur.

 

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Plastic pink flamingos strewn all over the dinosaur.

 

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More public art.

 

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Don’t let those yellow and blue Muskoka Adirondack chairs fool you…

 

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It’s THIS big.

 

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We went to the Android building.

 

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This is where all the Android operating systems are created. There is a sculpture for every Android operating system like Cupcake, Honeycomb, Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich.

 

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There’s the newest Android baby, KitKat. At this part I saw a lot of visitors. Some were probably kids from the nearby houses. Though it seems to be a destination for curious tourists, there are no official tours as of yet. It’s not exactly open to the public, so like I mentioned above, you still have to be an invited and registered guest.

 

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In my few days in Silicon Valley I was so dependent on car rides from friends like Nina and Gari Camaisa (more on our sightseeing at later posts). California and mass transit don’t really mix. So naturally, a lot of Googlers drive to work. Good to see that a lot of them drive electric cars. Here’s one of the many electric recharging stations on the Google Campus.

 

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Of course I would like to highlight this. One of the Google employees told me that they have very good daycare facilities for employees kids.

 

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We also saw one self-driving car!!

 

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The sight of Googlers on bicycles made me giddy. Gosh that movie. Stop it already.

 

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In keeping with the brand’s identity, all the Google bikes had the bright Google colours. They were just parked outside every building. No one owns a particular bike. You are free to use one to get from A to B.

 

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So of course I had to get this photo for the books. Initially it was just a photo op. But really, after having walked the entire stretch of the campus, I asked Shrikand if we could just bike back to our initial meeting place.

 

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So this is me in the real bike that I rode. I loved it! I wasn’t exactly dressed for it, wearing a dress and French Sole flats. But I had to get from A to B. Loved the feeling!!

 

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These bikes were so much fun.

 

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Saw this conference bike parked outside. It’s a circular bike for 7 people. One person steers and six pedal (or not).

 

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Yes there really is an airplane/space ship inside one of the buildings. These next few photos are by my friend Lylah Juinio, who went to visit with her family a day after I did.

 

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And yes it’s true, all Google employees get free food and drinks. All meals are free. All. Photo by Lylah Juinio

 

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There are over 40 cafes in the Google Campus. My friend took us to the biggest one in Googleplex. This one had various themed cuisines – Italian, Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian, Mexican, American grill etc. And don’t expect your typical cafeteria food. They have gourmet chefs designing the menu.

 

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My lunch. After getting a slice of ham and really good gourmet pizza, I lined up for a burrito.

 

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Sorry for the shaky photo. I was balancing my tray. The pizzas were so good.

 

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Pho soup and some dumplings

 

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This isn’t the first playful office space I’ve seen. Locally there was the P&G head office that had sleep pods and spa treatments. Google had all that too. Here’s one with a pool table. Photo by Lylah Juinio

 

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Some of the services for employees. Photo by Lylah Juinio

 

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They’re big on composting and segregating waste. Yes!

 

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The Google store where I bought some Tshirts and pens. It isn’t open to the public. You need an employee to bring you in. But if you really want Google merchandise you can purchase them all online in the Google shop.

 

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So that’s how my Googliest day went.

 

 

* My trip to Silicon Valley in California was sponsored by EVA Air. Travel arrangements by Jeron Travel.

All my photos are taken from a Samsung Galaxy Camera 2. I love that it is directly linked to the Google cloud and all my photos are stored automatically.

 

 

Good Stuff 100

 

 

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You probably noticed that I’ve been making these layouts occasionally. I don’t use a quick program. I do old-fashioned cut and paste on Photoshop. Since I’ve been doing them for the past couple of years, the most troublesome part for me has always been putting a title on each collage. So I’ve decided, with the help of Patrick, to name this series “Good Stuff.” This is number 100 because I’ve lost track of how many Good Stuff collages I’ve made, so let’s just call this 100.

In my weekly “Good Stuff” collages I will highlight things that I love, wish, covet. Some are from my site partners, some are just picked off the net. It may or may not include gifted items or PR samples. I will indicate if so. All items will have links directing you to sites where you can buy them directly or get more info on them.

This week, my collage stemmed from that beautiful ivory coloured dress from Reiss. Everything else just followed.

 

01 I love the way this ivory dress is tailored. It can give an illusion of a small waist, long neck and a flattering neckline. Perfect dress for day or evening events.  Natalia dressicon from Reiss.

02  Soft Dog Pendant designed by Henrik Pedersen at Design Within Reach. DWR is my newest site partner and I can’t wait to work with them on highlighting some of my favourite things from their roster of good stuff. With this pendant lamp is, Pedersen wanted to evoke a lightness and purity that are reminiscent of Scandinavian design. What he achieved is a soft, sculptural, less industrial form that’s simple and welcoming.

03  Carmen sunglasses from House of Harlow 1960 comes in different colours but I’m loving this grapefruit version. It has this vintage feminine vibe that’s perfect for our tropical climate in Manila.

04  Hand-Painted Equestrian Charm Bracelet from One Kings Lane, on sale for $49. Made of 24-kt gold-plated intaglio, 24-kt gold-plated steel, and faceted glass. You know how much I love my hand-painted enamel medallion charms from Europe. Here is a chunky charm bracelet version from Susan Shaw.

05  After years of wearing uncomfortable underwire and padded bras, I’ve gotten rid of all of them. Since I am slightly built, I have found the perfect fit in soft bras and bralets. Feel free to discuss. I don’t really know if this is good or bad. But for me and my physique, I’m ok with less support. Loving this Trenta Soft Bra from Cosabella

06  Much to my husband’s dismay, I am never going to be a minimalist. Though I appreciate modern design like that pendant lamp from DWR, there will always be a part of me that will like kitsch and novelty. Like this Cockatoo Pitcher from Fitz and Floyd.

07  One Kings Lane works on flash sales. So if this pretty brass tray catches your fancy, click the link now. I think there’s only a day left to get this piece on discount.23″ Grandeur Brass Tray with leather handles from One Kings Lane.

08  Again, tugging on my old soul’s heart strings, this Pioneer Tea Kettle from Jacob Bromwell is perfect for my kitchen. It’s handcrafted from pure copper and is ideal for heating water for coffee, tea, or cocoa. A true collector’s item you can actually use, made the same way it was hundreds of years ago from when pioneers carried them in their wagons.