Monthly Archives: November 2011

Musings of a COO: Giving Back

I am very lucky to be part of an organization that sees “giving back” not only as a major thrust, but an integral part of company life as well.  I don’t mean to say this to pat myself on the back or para magtaas ng sarili kong bangko, but I am just very proud and amazed how much the spirit of giving thrives strong among our employees, and I am humbled by how, despite the difficulty of the times, they still make it a point to share their blessings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tuesday Happy: A Gift for “A”

Last year was A’s official first Christmas. Unfortunately, it was a time that her Mama was also going through some post-partum depression :(  Instead of being able to celebrate this tradition properly, I think I was very ill-prepared for it and as a result, our house had really kawawa (read: pitiful) decorations, gift-wrapping was haphazardly done, and I wasn’t very thoughtful with my gifts–especially A’s. I think the only thing I planned well was my family’s coordinating outfits!  Hahaha!

I will forever feel some sort of guilt or wistfulness that I was not able to commemorate this first for A in a more special way.  My only consolation is that since A was only 4 months old during that time, hopefully she will not take it against me (especially when she grows older and sees pictures :o).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a confession to make…these pictures are actually fake :(.  I didn’t even get to wrap A’s present so she didn’t have anything to open from Mama and Dada :(.  I know, I know–bad Mama, right? *sigh*

This year is a different story, though :).  I am definitely determined and excited to make up for last year’s Christmas snafu.  The house has been decorated ahead of time (that deserves a post on its own!), the gifts have been bought and are currently being wrapped, the outfits have been planned, and A’s present is almost ready!!!  I’m so excited!

What did I get her?  To be honest, it was a bit difficult to decide what to get our little one.  She has too many clothes, too many toys, lots of books and educational stuff so I didn’t want to get her any of those.  Where does that leave me?  After much thought and consultation with the H, we decided to get her something that she may not appreciate now, but something she hopefully will cherish when she gets older–ART!  Specifically, we had a portrait of her done, and also got her her first sculpture :).

Here’s a sneak peek of the portrait…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isn’t it too cute?  It’s off to the framers, and I should be getting it soon! I can’t wait!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a picture of the wooden sculpture, but when I finally get it, I’ll definitely make sure to post it on this blog :).

I’ve made no secret about how much I loooooove art and Filipino artists.  In fact, our home is filled with paintings and sculptures.  What can I say?  Not only do they provide me with everyday inspiration, but I’m also very proud of the talent and creativity of Filipinos.  My home is an homage to this.  It goes without saying that I hope A inherits this passion of mine as well :).

Just in case you guys are interested, the artist who did both the portrait and the sculpture is Jomike Tejido.  He is sooooo talented, and extremely easy to work with!  Check out his site for more details, and to see his other work. :)

So there you have it, your first look at A’s Christmas present :).  How about you guys, what did you get your little ones?  Please share :).  I’d love to have new ideas for next year :).

The Weekend that Was

Whew!  I had an extremely busy, but fulfilling weekend :)  Just wanted to share with you some bits and pieces of it…

My company has been a long-time partner of Habitat for Humanity.  To culminate our 65th year anniversary, we held a house build at their Navotas site. Habitat is attempting to put up 500 houses for the families from Manila Bay, who were displaced by Typhoon Pedring.

It was such a wonderful way to spend my Saturday!  Despite the fact that I didn’t get to see my little one and the H the whole day, and we were really subjected to manual, hard labor, I knew I was doing something that would mean a lot to a family in need.  It really made me realize how fortunate I am to have what I have, to be blessed with opportunities to serve others, and to be on the giving rather than the receiving end.  These kinds of experiences really put our lives in perspective, don’t they? :)

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Bang For Your Buck

Who doesn’t love multi-way clothing?  Especially in these difficult times, it just makes more sense to buy fashion that not just looks good, but that gives us our money’s worth.  Not only are multi-ways practical because you can wear them many times over, but they also allow you to play around with different looks–all with just one garment!  The only requirement is your creativity (or a manual would be helpful too–haha!) as you twist and turn and find different ways to style your multi-way.

A multi-way is also perfect for travelling (less to pack = more room for shopping!), and usually, it is made of material that is not only wrinkle-free, but figure flattering as well :).

Even though some of these pieces don’t come at cheap prices, if you do the math and divide the price by the number of styles you can create, then it becomes a practical and almost no-brainer choice!

Recently, I came across the DKNY scarf dress on Lucky Magazine online.  Not only is the print bold, bright, and eye-catching, but the fact that you can transform the dress into five different styles, now that’s an offer that is difficult to refuse!

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Fresh Picks from Joe Fresh

I first came across the brand Joe Fresh from Daphne’s blog.  It is a stylish yet affordable clothing and accessories brand for men, women and kids, but what piqued my interest is that it made its humble beginnings in a grocery store of all places, and has now grown into a respected and burgeoning retail giant.

Photo via bridesmaid.com

Joe Fresh has a very similar concept to that of Target’s Go International line, the only difference being that it is an in-house clothing brand, while Target tends to collaborate with known or up and coming designers to design capsule collections for their stores.

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The Weekend that Was

A glimpse of my weekend in pictures…

Hope your weekend was just as FUN!!!

Have a great week ahead!

How do you Dwell?

I am a huuuuuge fan of Dwell Studio!  If I could decorate my entire house with their furniture, home accessories, and fabrics, I would be one happy camper!

I really admire Christiane Lemieux’s design aesthetic.  It is decorative, yet modern and streamlined.  She is also a genius when it comes to mixing and matching colors and prints.  There is just the right amount of balance and restraint such that the design or the color are not too overpowering, but classy and uber chic.

I love browsing through the Dwell Studio website and blog, and in it have found a lot of inspiration for my home.  I knew that one day, I would own one of their bed sets, even if it cost me a small fortune to do so.

My first Dwell Studio bedding purchase was actually from their Target line. Thank goodness for these Target collaborations!  They’ve certainly made more premium brands accessible to the everyday consumer.  I really fell in love with the Tulip Crib Set so I bought it for the little girl’s nursery.  This is how it looks like…

I love how the bumper is reversible, and how the sheets are mix and match :). When I get particularly sawa of the floral print, I can just turn it around and feature the striped side.  I also bought different flat sheets and receiving blankets to complement this set, and complete the look :).

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Foodie Friday: Va Bene Pasta Deli

I read a lot of food blogs.  I’ve come across several posts mentioning Va Bene, a not-so-secret authentic Italian pasta deli, so it’s long been on my list of must-try’s.

Although the restaurant is located so close to where I live, it’s been quite a challenge finding the time to make our way over.  Finally, after months of unsuccessful attempts, the H and I, along with our good friend M, decided to meet up for an impromptu dinner, and Va Bene was our unanimous choice :).

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Hostess with the Mostest

Christmas means parties, parties, and more parties!

Wouldn’t it be so much fun and ridiculously chic to host parties with these cute trays?

How about these matching plates?

And coasters?

Mix it up or matchy-matchy–oh how I love!!!

All images from whhostess.com

Tuesday Happy: Letterpress

Lately, I’ve been extremely obsessed with letterpress! :)

For those of you who don’t know what letterpress is, it’s a type of printing invented sometime in the mid-15th century by Johannes Gutenberg.  Wikipedia describes it as basically making an impression of an image or text using a particular type of printing press and some movable type, in which a reversed, raised surface is inked and then pressed into a receiving surface (like paper) in order to obtain a positive right-reading image.

Sounds complicated, huh?  But really, it’s not.

It’s basically printing an impression directly onto a piece of paper. After the process, though, the image or text has a recessed quality–kind of like a reversed embossing–giving the design more depth, definition and texture.

Letterpress is not that popular yet here in Manila.  At least when I got married, my research did not turn up any letterpress suppliers–it’s a rare, expensive and highly specialized service, apparently.  Having encountered many letterpress designs abroad, I really wanted my invitations to have that classy but highly personalized and handmade feel to it that letterpress gives.  As opposed to printing via offset litho which are more mass produced, letterpress requires a certain level of craftsmanship, and because paper is fed into the machine one at a time by hand, there is a certain limitedness to it which increases the upscale factor.

Image via neublack.com

Image via invitationsflash.com

I’ve recently found out that because letterpress has become popular once again in the US, and is experiencing a revival of sorts thanks to Martha Stewart, several institutions have been offering short-term classes that not only teach interested people about the art of letterpress printing, but even offer studio time so that the experience of the fundamentals can immediately be practiced and learned.

I am sooooo interested to take a class!!!  I’ve found several in New York and am now just trying to figure out when would be the best time to take them.  The nice thing about it is it takes 1 class at the very least, and 5 classes at the most to walk away with an understanding of the basics of letterpress.  I am crossing my fingers that I can find the time next summer, as my family will be going abroad to attend a cousin’s wedding.  It would be the most perfect opportunity!  Sigh!

If not, all is not lost though :).  Thanks to a company called Quickutz, I can now have the experience of letterpressing in my own home!  Granted, it’s much different from using the actual industrial-sized machines, and working with the huge print-making blocks, but I’m sure the satisfaction would be similar :). Whether or not I’m able to take a class, I’m already thinking of gifting myself with this Quickutz Letterpress Combo Kit and all the press plates that come with it! Haha!

Image via letterpressplates.com

Image via letterpressplates.com

Image via letterpressplates.com

I am really looking forward to the many things I can create with my own letterpress kit!  Stationery, bookmarks, business cards, invitations…I am going gaga just thinking about it!

And what a great outlet this would be for me!  Aaaack!  I can’t wait!  I told you, I’m super obsessed!

Anyway, just wanted to end this post with this video I found on the art of letterpress printing.  I thought it was quite inspiring–I got goosebumps watching it.  I sure hope to get the opportunity to experience this for myself one day–I’m throwing it out to the universe, and praying that I get that chance, and hopefully soon :)

In the meantime, enjoy the video!

Video from Naomie Ross on Vimeo