Category Archives: Gifts

Gift Wrapping Idea # 3 : Twigs and String

Just wanted to share with you another gift wrapping idea that I did for the little one’s teachers last March, for her Moving Up Day.


I have a whole bunch of twigs at home from a flower arrangement that my sister used for her son’s baptism.  Being the crafter that I am, I knew that these twigs would come to good use someday so I convinced the hubby to let me keep them and not throw them out :).  I’m glad he agreed :).

For these particular gifts, I decided to use the twigs as accessories, dressing them up with three different colors of string–red, pink and white–to contrast the black floral print of the wrapping paper.  The string is crochet string, and I bought it in National Book Store.  The wrapping paper is from the stationery department of SM Hypermart :).

When it came to attaching the twigs to the gift, at first I tried using glue, but unfortunately, it didn’t adhere properly.  So instead I tried using my ever reliable and decorative washi tape, which I think gave it an interesting effect :).

For the final touch, I decided to stick  the gift cards in some non-typical places, just to provide some visual interest again.  In hindsight, I should have probably cut the card in the shape of a leaf and position it next to the twig so that it looked like it was attached.  Oh well.  Maybe next time :)…


Gift Wrapping Idea # 2 : Pompoms and Polkadots


Over the weekend, I had to wrap a birthday present for one of A’s classmates.  As I was feeling extra crafty, I decided to start with a blank slate–kraft paper–and build from there.

Using left-over hole punches, I first stuck neon orange circles onto the kraft paper.  I love the look of bright orange against neutral brown.  It really stands out!

Then instead of ribbon, I used two shades of blue yarn which I wrapped several times around the gift.  I topped this off with several sizes and colors of pompoms. I thought it made the present look really festive and fun! 🙂

For the gift tag, I used a manila tag, and used my stamps to create the greeting. To personalize it a bit, I let the little one sign the card :).

So there you have it, an easy, festive, and crafty gift wrapping idea!  It took just a couple of minutes to actually put this together, and I had so much fun doing it too! 🙂

Fab Find : Istorya Creations Hand-Stamped Jewelry

So I dropped by the Artesania Fair by Mercato Centrale this weekend.  I intended to finally buy myself a pen hoarder from Bags by Rubbertree, since I’d been wanting one for a looooong time.  More on that in another post :).

Since I was at the fair already, I decided to poke my head around and see if there were any new finds worth blogging about.

What I found was Istorya Creations :).

Istorya Creations is all about hand-stamped metals.  Aside from custom-making each piece, the artist, Joanna, ensures that it lovingly reflects her customer’s unique story–hence, the name.


I just love the thought behind Istorya.  I love that it is personalized and that each piece can hold such deep meaning for both the maker and the recipient.  I love that all the creations are hand-crafted, that they are cut and hammered by hand, and that they are perfectly imperfect when finished.  Whether it be jewelry, cake toppers, gift tags, or plant markers, these items are truly precious because they are crafted with a personal story in mind!






So the next time you’d like to mark a special occasion, or if you are in search of a unique and meaningful gift item, try Istorya Creations.  You can contact Joanna at 0906 467 8037.  You can also email her at or visit her FB page for more details

Fab Finds MaARTe Edition

Oh my, it’s already September!!!

And if you’re Filipino, you certainly know what that means–Christmas is right around the corner!  Can you believe I actually heard my first Christmas carol exactly on September 1st???  I kid you not!!!

And precisely because we Filipinos start preparing for Christmas this early, there have been a number of bazaars popping up lately, the most recent being the MaARTe Artisanal Fair at the Rockwell Tent.  The shopping frenzy has begun!!! 🙂


I personally love going to the MaARTe bazaar because of the many wonderful, locally handcrafted items one can find there.  I was actually quite pleased that from a handful of booths last year, they had about 50 different participants, each selling distinct artisanal products.  Translation: this year’s offerings definitely did not disappoint!

Here were some of my favorite items:

1. Pottery from Joey de Castro


Joey de Castro, Pottery Artist, 0917 8315904,

2. Crocheted Fruits and Veggies and other items from La Pomme




La Pomme for Kids, look for Apol or Fiona, 0917 7151821/0919 9934795,

3. Bambow Ties (also the makers of Bamboo Bikes)


A on a Bamboo Bike

4. Home stuff from Domesticity




5. Embroidered Barong Dresses from Amarie


Shophouse – 2nd Floor – Tommy’s Coffee 8483 Kalayaan Street, Corner Matilde, Barangay Poblacion, Makati City, 8901526

6. Stools from Hacienda Crafts Company


7. Blankets and Throws from Beyond Borders


8. Necklaces from Piesa by Phoebe


There were actually many other vendors with fabulous items on sale, but unfortunately I was not able to get their names nor their pictures :(.  By the time I dropped by the bazaar, it was already almost closing time so I was in a bit of a rush :(.

But anyway, I hope this blogpost gives you some new ideas for gifts this holiday season.  Happy shopping!!! 🙂

Fab Finds Mommy Edition

What was supposed to be a pretty straightforward retail therapy session for me, turned out to be more than I expected :).  And I mean that in a positive way :).

Last Saturday, I received news that my friend Nikki Yuson-de Guzman, one of the stylish women behind the cult brand Label, would be selling her versatile, easy-to-wear frocks at a kiddie bazaar in Dasmarinas Village.  First thing in the morning, I immediately made a beeline for the Dasma Pavillion, to get first dibs on her popular dresses.

As soon as I arrived, the plan was for me to go straight to Nikki’s booth, locate the dresses I wanted to buy (notice, this is plural!  Hahaha!  Syempre I was already assuming that I’d buy more than one!  Hahahaha!), fit them, pay for them, and leave.

But looking around at the other booths and their wares, I knew that this shopping trip was not going to go as originally planned.  Hahaha!

First of all, there were a lot of sellers that I’d never seen in other bazaars before that offered either unique, or not so unique but very nicely made items for kids. As a mom, I can never resist buying stuff for A, especially when they are practical, cute, or educational.  All of my fab finds in this bazaar definitely fit this criteria. 🙂

Here are my top picks:

1. Think Tents

A in a Think Tent

This product is the brainchild of a former co-teacher and friend, Oona Mapua-Carlos :).  It was such a pleasant surprise to bump into her in the bazaar, and to learn of her latest venture :).  Think Tents is basically a teepee–a space where little ones are encouraged to dream, to plan, to imagine, to play, to read, to create, and maybe even to have some alone and quiet time.  Such a simple concept, yet executed in such a cool way, right?  The little miss actually took to it immediately, entering the tent and playing with the stuffed toys inside.  I could already see how much she would enjoy having one of her own!  Unfortunately, most of Oona’s tents sold out during the bazaar, so I had to place in an order for mine which will hopefully arrive in a couple of weeks :).

These would make perfect Christmas or birthday gifts for your inaanaks (godchildren), nephews, nieces, or even for the apos (grandkids).

To order, get in touch with Oona at  Think Tents is also on FaceBook!

2. Sand Puff


Priced at Php1200, this entire set was a steal!  It came with the sand, some molds, and the tray you see in the picture.

During the entire time I was going around the bazaar, it kept A busy and entertained :).  What is particularly cool about this is that its feel and texture is so light and fluffy.  No worries for the little girl, who does not really like the feel of real sand.  It’s also non-toxic, and does not accumulate any bacteria.

To order, call Axel or Lea at +632 5346781 or +632 5348293

3. Peachtree Lane




Lastly, this charming booth called Peachtree Lane immediately attracted my attention because of its cute set up, and the items it had on display.

The business was started by mompreneur, Natalya, who felt the need to create cute outfits for her children, that she could not find in retail stores.  And definitely her clothes–especially the dresses for girls–are adorable!  I love her choice of fabrics, and the easy, classic style as well!

She also had really cute bibs, burping cloths, and diaper bags for sale :).

Like Peachtree Lane on FaceBook or get in touch with them via cell at +63917 5294215 or via email at

The Weekend That Was

As I’m writing this blog-post about our weekend round up, I am quite amazed that we were actually able to fill in so many activities in just two days!  It’s been quite a while since La Familia C’s had such a busy, action-packed weekend.  But I loved every minute of it!

Here’s how we spent our weekend…

Saturday morning was spent doing something creative–gift wrapping!  You guys know how much I loooooove packaging stuff :).  It just so happened that the day before, I got some really cute accessories from a store in the newly opened SM Aura–L’Indochine–and I used them to add more color and personality to a gift that I was wrapping to give Alex, our family’s long-time hairdresser.  We were seeing him later on in the day.


After getting my creative fix, the fam trooped over to Greenbelt for our haircuts! Here is the little one all ready for her trim :).  Doesn’t she look excited?  She wasn’t too keen on getting her hair chopped off though–she’s in the “feeling princess” stage and to be fair, I don’t think there are any princess’ with short hair! Hahaha!  So a trim it was :).


A's Haircut1

A's Haircut2

Tadaaaaah!!!  All done! 🙂

A quick lunch at Kenji-Tei followed Family Haircut Day, then we proceeded towards the North to check-out Heima Brixton, an artsy lifestyle-slash-furniture store that I’ve been dying to visit!


A lot of people describe Heima as the Philippine version of Anthropologie.  I think the design aesthetic of the two stores are very different, and the product selection is quite different too, but definitely, Heima is a creative person’s haven, the interiors beautifully done, the furniture on display a mix of quirky and vintage, the items for sale carefully curated.  I love it!!!






Saturday evening was a night for the adults.  The H and I, along with our good friend M, had a date with the Manila Pop Up Team over at Premio.  This was our second pop up, the first I wrote about here.  The theme for the night was Recess–a pretty cool theme, if I may say so :).  It was all about old school favorites–from the decor to the food items to the dress code (although we were kinda corny because we didn’t come in theme.  Hahaha!).  It was a very different experience from Barbacua–and deserves an entire blogpost of its own–but that’s the nice thing about these pop up themes, each one is unique and different from the last :).



On Sunday, we went on a roadtrip to meet with my cousin M to look at lots over at Nuvali.  The H and I have been thinking about investing lately, especially on land.  I’m drawn to the idea of eco-living, and this Ayala development precisely espouses that.



Before we took the “tour”, we ofcourse had to stop by the koi, and were quite surprised by the sight that greeted us.


The little miss was delighted with all the fish practically swimming on top of each other, looking for food!  Personally, I’d never seen so much koi in my entire life! Hahaha!  I actually also felt bad for some of the fishies.  They looked desperately hungry for food and some were even willing to swim out of the water, onto a rock, just to eat the fish pellets that had landed there.

A and the Fishies

After our tour of the various developments in Nuvali–the place is booming, by the way–we decided to have lunch at Italianni’s.  It was so nice of them to give A a make-your-own-pizza experience.  She loved it, and was quite good at it, if I may add. 🙂

Pizza Making with A

This is what the finished product looked like!

Biases aside, it actually tasted really good!

After that, we headed on back to Manila.  And this was when the weather started to turn wonky.  From sunny and quite unbearably hot in the morning, to wet and dreary in the afternoon. *Sigh*  This weather is schizo, I tell you.

But our day didn’t end there.  We managed to squeeze in an hour of shopping at the Karl Edwards Bazaar, ofcourse! 🙂  While we were really there to stock up on dvd’s, I ended up buying yet another navy and cream striped shirt.  Hahaha!  Like I need another one, right?  But at 300 bucks, I thought it was quite a steal!

So that’s pretty much what went down for us last weekend.  Whew!  No wonder I’m quite exhausted.  Hahaha!  Exhausted, but happy, though 🙂  And now ofcourse I’m already counting the days and looking forward for Friday to come. Hahaha!

Please come sooner!!!

Fab 5 : Our Anniversary

The H and I celebrated our wedding anniversary recently.

5 YEARS!!!

Yeah, baby 🙂 !

To commemorate this special occasion, I’ve decided to start a new series called Fab 5.

For this particular entry, I’ll be posting 5 photos from our (whole day) celebration :).



I woke up to find this beautiful flower arrangement waiting for me on the kitchen counter 🙂  From Mabolo, no less!  Plus points for the H!  Hahaha!  The colors of the blooms were so wonderfully vibrant, it immediately perked up my day, and my mood too!



This is my gift from the H :).  Ain’t she a beauty?  I just love that slip of red suede that peeks through 🙂  H sure knows the way to my heart!  Hahaha!



Had breakfast at an oldie but goodie–Breakfast at Antonio’s!  It’s now back in its original location right on the ridge!  Yummy food and an amazing view is a combination that’s tough to beat!



While I had originally wanted to try their Daing na Gindara, unfortunately, it was not available during the time we were there.  I had to “settle” for the Nilagang Corned Beef with Garlic Rice and Poached Egg which was sooooo good!  I practically polished off my plate!  *dyahe*

But, since it was a special occasion, I gave myself the authorization to eat without inhibition.  Hahaha!



We capped off our day with a romantic dinner at Cru–just the two of us :).

It was really nice to be able to have some alone time with the H :).

Although we still go out on dates, rarely do we get the chance to dress up, and have a relaxing meal with each other.

Also, I was so touched by how the H really went all out in planning the entire day for us!  From the flowers and the amazing gift, to the wonderful, relaxing breakfast with A, and our equally amazing, romantic dinner…I must say, the H did an awfully wonderful job of making me feel really special 🙂

Christmas at Casa P


Oh my gosh, I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post!  Huhuhu 😦

I don’t know about you but this year’s holidays have been extraordinarily hectic for me!  While the parties and get-togethers are typically frenzied, we also had an out of town wedding, and more balik-bayans in town than usual.  So talk about busy, busy, busy!!!

Also, it seems that my gift list has grown exponentially since last year so I was shopping and wrapping gifts everyday, up until Christmas Eve!  Grabe, last minute!  And to think I vowed that I would try to do better this time around :(.  Apparently not!  Hahaha!  Oh well… 😦

But despite all the craziness, I really do love Christmas! 🙂

Christmas Eve, in particular, is an occasion I always look forward to :).

It is always celebrated at my parents’ home, and is a time for relatives from my mom’s side of the family to gather and get-together over a delicious meal, dressed in our special holiday clothes.

Through the years, we’ve developed many Christmas Eve traditions–some good, some forgettable–but one thing that’s remained constant is the warm, fuzzy feeling of having all the people I love most gathered together under one roof, celebrating the most important holiday of the year :).

So anyway, just wanted to share some images of our family celebration with you, and to take this opportunity to greet everyone, “Happy Holidays!” and “Best Wishes for a Prosperous 2013!”

Slide4 Slide5 Slide6 Slide2 Slide1


This is what’s kept me happily occupied lately…


Yup, it’s wrapping madness over here at Casa C!  My poor living room has now been overtaken by boxes, ribbons, wrapping paper, and gifts waiting to be prettily packaged :).

I’m not complaining, though :).

Despite the fact that I am waaaaaaaay behind my usual holiday schedule, these prezzies are just so pretty to look at and have been so therapeutic to wrap–I’ve decided that I’m totally going to take my time and enjoy the process!  Hahaha!  Once I start wrapping, I’m in the zone!  Boom!

My sister thinks I should totally do this for a living.  Actually, I’ve been considering it for a while too.


How are you guys coming along with your Christmas wrapping? 🙂

Target + Neiman Marcus = Uh Oh!

Ok, where did October go?

Seriously, I can’t believe it is almost November and I’ve not made a dent in my Christmas List yet!

Uh Oh.


On the bright side, Target and Neiman Marcus are launching their new collaboration on December 1st,  just in time for last-minute shoppers like me!

This partnership is truly a match made in retail heaven!

24 famous designers + a collection of 50 limited-edition holiday gifts!

It doesn’t get better than this!

And finally, the look book is out for us to drool over.

I’ve taken the liberty of picking my favorites and must-buys already :).

Here they are:

1. Travel Pouches and Stationery Set by Carolina Herrera

2. Beverage Container and Lunch Box by Tory Burch

3. Martini Shaker, Glasses and Tray by Altuzarra

4. Dessert Plates by Tracy Reese

5. Metallic Pouches by Marc Jacobs

6. Beaded Top by Tracy Reese

7. Polkadot Dress by Jason Wu (for the little one!)

8. Beaded Dress by Marchesa (another one for A!)

Uh Oh.

I bet my credit card is already cringing.  Hahaha!

But aren’t they beeyoooteeefull? 🙂


Looks like I’m gonna have to definitely set my alarm for December 1st.

Please, universe, conspire with me on this one :).

Photos via