Gifts from Rajito




Thank you, Venisse Laurel-Hermano, for the lovely outfits sent to my daughters. Venisse runs House of Laurel together with Rajo. Being a mother of girls, she shares my passion for all things pretty and lovely. Every season she gives my girls a little treat from her line, Rajito. Lucky girls.


Thank you Venisse.


Her presents always have the cutest wrapping. She matched the sticker cards with the outfits inside


This is for Stella.


Beautiful fabric.


I love grosgrain ribbons.


And the subtle details like this.


Here are the lovely dresses, seen in their official press photos taken by Toto Labrador. The line is called Androgyny. Venisse tells me she’s wanted to do a black and white collection for a while now. And she finally took the risk. The result is beautiful. Now we need a party or a wedding… The girls will look lovely in these.


For Stella


For Lily


For Sophia



Rajito at House of Laurel
6013 Villena cor Mañalac St. Poblacion Makati City
Tel Nos. 8955688 / 8999946


Peace and art at home



My daughters have just discovered Anne of Green Gables – the movie, not the book (yet). We have the books, but I wanted them to see the world of Anne Shirley. This I think is one of the best Canadian exports/legacies, such a lovely story of a strong-willed and imaginative girl. My girls already have a bit of Anne Shirley in them. We have wild imaginations, great dreams, theatrical scenes – from playing dress up to pretend theatre and role playing, dramatic meltdowns and quiet reading time in this house.


Megan Follows as Anne of Green Gables


The later movies of Anne of Green Gables shows Anne and Gilbert married but separated by World War 1. Now, though my girls are exposed to hundreds of GI Joes everyday, they haven’t really watched any war movies. I sort of slipped thinking it was harmless to see war scenes in Anne of Green Gables. There were no gory scenes but they showed families being separated and a few explosions. While watching, Soph had endless questions. “How does war start?”, “What can I do to stop war?”, “Is there still war today?”, “Why did daddy go to war?” Yes, my husband used to “go to war” but not to fight. He told stories – Afghanistan, Palestine, Mindanao.

We tried our best to explain war to her. That her lolo was born during World War 2. That daddy had the important job of telling war stories, in the hopes that it would bring out the truth and eventually stop war. Then I also told her that here in the Philippines, there are areas still under conflict and children still need protection. Then she asked, “What can a little girl do to stop war? Can I make artwork then you take a picture of it and put it in your website so many people can see that a child wants war to end?” I’m serious, she said all that. I have it on tape. Like I said, Anne Shirley.


This is Sophia’s art work. She said, “I’m very lucky to have a mom with a job like yours. You have a website. People can read our messages.” Anne Shirley…


And just to make her message clear, she wrote.


Meanwhile, Lily and Stella are about to celebrate their birthdays in two weeks. As usual, I am not prepared. I insist on having two separate little parties even though their birthdays are two days apart. Lily is turning 5 and Stella is turning 2. They like different things. They’re different people. So I think they should have their own special days. Stella likes dancing and music, and on the commercial side, she loves Toy Story. Lily is still in her pretty princess mode. She loves frills and prettiness. We are thinking of Fancy Nancy or if all else fails (like I really run out of time, Barbie). These are going to be little parties in their school, nothing big. But I still want it to be lovely. Sigh.


Lily really is turning 5 soon. I remember waiting for her to be born… in Flickr. Oh she has this thing about dressing herself everyday. She styles herself then comes to me to take her picture. Everyday. Then after she poses, she says, “Is that fashion, Mommy?”


This is Lily’s world. She’s all about playing with little toys. Playmobil is one of her favourites. We get them from Hobbes and Landes.


She makes little scenarios in her castle.


She even made a pretend “meadow.” We are running out of space, so we allow the kids to play in the formal living room.


The meadow and the castle.


It’s lovely to have these toys with old-world feel – complete with castles and long dresses. They loved Anne of Green Gables so I figured they’d love the movie Miss Potter. After all, The Tale of Peter Rabbit is one of our favourite reads. I had almost forgotten about the movie. They loved it.


This was a great find! Beatrix Potter’s journal. I found this at the bookstore a few years ago.


It’s filled with beautiful pages of what Beatrix Potter’s journal would look like.


It has the story of her life, her sketches and how she got her book published.


Lovely inserts that fold out and open up.


And samples of colour separation.


Beatrix Potter’s journal plus all the Peter Rabbit books we had, inspired Sophia to write a “book” when she was just 6 years old. National Bookstore sent them Moleskine diaries and each kid filled them with stories and drawings.


Sophia wrote “The Contin” of Petter Rabbit. Her imagination made her think of what would have happened to Peter the next day.


I treasure these and Lily’s drawings. Now Stella is following her Ate’s footsteps.


It’s easy actually. Instead of iPads and iPhones, we bring crayons and pencils to restaurants. That’s how it all started with Lily and Soph. And then of course when all else fails, we bring out the iPad.

Googoo&gaga goes to Paris



I first found out about googooandgaga in December 2008. It was AJ and Audrey Dimarucot’s first day in their first bazaar. I had just found out I was pregnant with our third baby, who would be Stella. She was 8 weeks old. No one knew I was pregnant except my husband. But when I saw the googooandgaga booth with their cute graphic onesies, I bought one outfit for our baby. Here’s what I wrote in my blog. “They were so irresistible, I had to buy one… just to keep. Or give away to the first newborn I meet.” I broke tradition and shopped for my teenyweeny yet-unborn child.


With AJ and Audrey Dimarucot of googooandgaga


Amazing things have happened to them since I first blogged about googoo&gaga. Other people discovered them and they went on to bigger things, as I had predicted. Every year, Audrey would send me a Christmas present to say they never forget about how it all started. Sweet people.


Audrey and AJ with their growing family.


Last week  they sent me this very sweet email. I was extremely touched. They didn’t owe me anything, really. If I didn’t “discover” them, someone else would have. But it takes a lot of class and sweetness to say thank you this way. I’ve had the chance to actively help people in their careers and very few have actually said thank you. This is really sweet and amazing:

Hi Daphne,

Before announcing to the world, we just wanted to share that googoo&gaga is going to launch in Paris in July!

You probably already know this as you were the one who referred Ito Kish to our partner there, Angelique Villaraza. She shared with us how accommodating you were when she asked for referrals to help her with her booth design, so thank you so much for that! We loved how the final booth perspectives came out!

We disclosed a Save the Date post on our site a couple weeks back, but will share more information about the Playtime Paris trade fair as we near the actual fair dates. Milestones like this always bring us sentimentally back to how we started in 2008. You “discovered” us in Rockwell and we thought you should be one of the first to know about this huge step we are so excited to be taking!

AJ and Audrey




Googoo&gaga is in Playtime Paris an international tradefair for everything baby, family and maternity related… in Paris!!!


Playtime Paris is an international trade show dedicated to the children’s universe and maternity wear. Each Playtime season in Paris, Tokyo, and New York is set to a new theme that forms the basis and inspiration for the season’s shows. Between crises and recoveries, doubts and hopes, wishes and needs, the necessity of finding new ways to reflect changing ideas and demands has become ever more evident. The “Let’s be adventurous” spirit is the basis for display of the collections, exhibitions and events of this year’s Playtime series. Source


I’m triple proud because I have a connection with three of the key players here. Googooandgaga has partnered with my friend Angelique Villaraza Dominici. Angelique moved to France to complete a Masters in Luxury Brand Management. She told me of her plans to bring Filipino creations/brands to Europe. Our friendship has transcended from social events to real pregnancy and motherhood bonding moments. “When she stumbled upon googoo&gaga two years ago, she felt that its artistic value would make it a great match for Europe, where a large percent of enterprises are still family owned. It was the strong and unique visuals of googoo&gaga that got the brand accepted into Playtime Paris, a trade fair known for its well-edited roster of exhibitors based in the world’s fashion capital.” (Source: Press Kit)


Angelique lives with her husband Michel and 21-month-old Giuliano in the south of France


When this partnership happened, Angelique asked me to recommend someone who could design their booth in Playtime Paris. I said, Ito Kish. Though he’s not an interior designer, Ito’s taste and ability to transform space and create a well edited-environment beats any designer or decorator I’ve seen. That, plus I just introduced Ito to Zinio on iPad and shared with him my love for Milk Deco. Haha. So I knew that Ito would love this challenge of creating something for a playful and childlike environment. So this is how the three teams got together.


This is the booth Ito Kish created for googooandgaga in Paris. You can read about his creative process here.


As part of the googooandgaga catalog for the fair, they are showing the works from their Artist Collaboration Series 1, featuring the works of local artists like Inksurge who did this mushroom dress (which my Stella now owns, yay!).

and Everywhere We Shoot, who did this “paper” shirt for boys.


Congratulations Angelique, the site is beautiful. I spot the Epperson kids, a Dimarucot baby and Lexi’s girl.


Goodluck to googooandgaga and Angelique Dominici!! Playtime Paris starts tomorrow. What an awesome start! I’m so excited for all of you! Yay!




Nine years ago today



We got the life we’ve been praying for.


(Re-published from