Tag Archives: shopping

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 istorya.creations@gmail.com or visit her FB page for more details http://www.facebook.com/istorya.creations.



I was a little bit late logging on this time around, but luckily I was able to snag this beauty when the Philip Lim for Target line went live…


Yay for me!

My cousin who works for Target told me that most of the bags sold out after just a couple of hours!  A ruckus even erupted between 2 lady customers who were fighting over one of the purses!  Egad!

So I may not have gotten everything I wanted, but I still ended up with a wonderful buy–and all from the comforts of my home.  Online shopping is totally the bomb! 🙂

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, joeyldc@yahoo.com

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




La Pomme for Kids, look for Apol or Fiona, 0917 7151821/0919 9934795, http://www.lapommeph.com/www.lapommehome.com

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


A on a Bamboo Bike


4. Home stuff from Domesticity




mydomesticity.com, facebook.com/MyDomesticityPH

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


haciendacrafts.com, facebook.com/HaciendaCrafts

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!!! 🙂

White Nights

The other night, the little one and I happened to don matching white nightgowns.


I particularly love this brand called Antukin.  For my non-Filipino speaking readers, that means “sleepyhead”.

I love the girly, lacey details, and the fact that after a couple of washes, the material is soooo soft and comfortable.

Plus it just looks so clean and fresh!  Hahaha 🙂

And while I’m not usually a fan of matching clothes with my little girl, the fact that  they have mini versions of the adult-sized nightgowns is just too cute to pass up 🙂

For those interested, Antukin has a stall at the monthly Karl Edwards Bazaar in BGC.

Low EQ

I’ve always been proud of the fact that when I want something, I’m always usually able to delay my gratitude–especially when that something is not really a necessity.  I’ve always been a prudent spender and a patient person.

But not lately.

As I’d mentioned in a previous post, this weather has been driving me crazy!

And I’ve manifested this craziness in unusually outlandish retail therapy.


My latest purchase?

These yellow lace-less Bennies!!!


Aren’t they soooooo neat? 🙂

How could I not, right? 🙂  And to be honest, I did wait 3 days before I bought them.  Hahaha!

They’re just the dose of sunshine I need, especially on those gloomy days that have been occuring quite often lately :).

Bensimons are now finally available in the Philippines!  I got my pair at Center of Gravity, Eton Cyberpod Centris, EDSA corner Quezon Ave.  They’re also available at Shoe Salon in Rockwell 🙂

I am Loving…

…the Candy Shop!

A batch mate of mine at the Ateneo, P, is the creative force behind The Candy Shop, an online source for the loveliest paper products.

She prints and sells anything from gift tags, post cards, sticker labels, contact cards, monogrammed cards, wall art tiles, wall letters, and more!

A couple of months ago, I treated myself to a selection of her amazing post cards, gift tags and stickers.


Aren’t they lovely?

Just looking at the designs brings a smile to my face!

Definitely, the experience of gift-wrapping will never be the same.  We’re talking level up levelzzzz here!  Hahaha!


Here is a package I wrapped recently using my Candy Shop gift tag and stickers.

The recipient told me she loved the wrapping so much, she almost didn’t want to open the present!  Awww…

So if you love paper products as much as I do, visit http://www.thecandyshopprints.com.

I swear, like me, you will want to hoard everything you see!


Happy Shopping!

Candy Mix photo from 101gramsofeyecandy.blogspot.com.  That’s P’s blog.  Follow her now!

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 thinktents@gmail.com.  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 peachtreeln@gmail.com

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!!!

I am Loving…

…RuMe Eco Bags!


RuMe stands for ReUse Me, the newest eco lifestyle brand to hit town!

Not only do they have a chic line of bags and accessories that are stylish and functional, but they also promote a more sustainable lifestyle– using less, by re-using more!  Cool, right?  A brand with a conscience!

What I love about RuMe is that it is a structured bag.  It has both sides and a bottom, making the bag more sturdy, and keeping its contents from jostling about.

Made from machine washable and water resistant fabric, each RuMe bag can also hold up to 50 lbs!  Can you just imagine all the stuff this bag can hold? 🙂

Lastly, I love that RuMe comes in different sizes, fabrics, and styles, and comes with various accessories as well.


The smallest of the bags is the Mini.


The next and classic size is the Medium (R), followed by the Macro (L).  You can actually even have your RuMe Medium bag customized (details on their website).


If you like lots of pockets on your bag, try the RuMe All.  It has 3 pockets–one in front, and 2 at the sides.  Kind of makes an ideal, lightweight baby bag, don’t you think? 🙂


To keep items organized inside your bag, RuMe has a line of accessories starting with the Pocket.  It can be used to store keys, credit cards, money, and a cellphone.  It can also be attached to the straps of the RuMe bag…


Then there’s the Baggie.  Twice the height of the Pocket, this is something that I’d probably use to keep a small notebook and pen in, or maybe a small pack of tissues, my business card holder…  It’s a good, basic size, and looks like it can be used to store a variety of things :).


And lastly, there’s the Baggie All which can hold more of your cosmetics and other toiletries.

In Manila, the RuMe brand is distributed by Honest Ventures Corporation.

I actually met the very young and charming President of the company, Jamie, during the Best Food Forward Fair :).  She was so enthusiastic about this product, and her enthusiasm totally rubbed off on me!  Hahaha!  But then again, eco bags are my guilty pleasure 🙂  I can never have too many, especially when it’s time to do the groceries!  Definitely, NO PLASTIC bags for me!

According to Jamie, RuMe bags are available at Certified Calm at Two Parkade in BGC (along 30th and 7th), and at the Salcedo Weekend Market.

Get your RuMe now, and let’s start re-using! 🙂

My Best Food Forward Picks!

My “diet” just flew out the window :(.


I guess it was to be expected as the H, the Little Miss and I made our rounds of the Best Food Forward food fair last Saturday.

Being a BFF virgin, I was excited to see and sample the various offerings of the participating food purveyors.

Was it worth sacrifice?  A big resounding YES!!!

Here are my top picks (in no particular order).  Please note, I wasn’t able to sample all the vendors below so my picks are not solely based on taste.  They’re also based on the uniqueness of the product and on interesting packaging :).

1. Casa San Luis


Although they are more known for their pastries, I decided to sample their Sweet Dips.  According to the lady attending their stall, the Salted Caramel with French Sea Salt and their Caramel Bacon Bits are their best sellers.  Since I’m not particularly a fan of Salted Caramel and a HUGE fan of bacon, it was a no-brainer that I allocate my precious calorie count to the Caramel Bacon Bits dip.

Rich, decadent, yummy and sinful were words that came to mind when I tried it.  I could actually feel my waistline expanding–haha!  The nice thing about these spreads is that they are also very versatile and can be used either as a dip, sauce, or topping!  I can imagine that they would be great poured on top of ice cream, or something to eat with crackers or to spread on bread!

Both flavors come in 4oz and 10oz jars that are priced at Php150 and Php300 respectively.

For orders, you can call Casa San Luis at 0916 644 8522 or email them at casasanluispastries@gmail.com

2. Double Delights


This next vendor caught my attention because of its cute, detailed designs.  At first, I thought I was looking at a bunch of mini cupcakes, but they’re actually polvoron cupcakes!  Innovative, right?  I love how they gave a different twist to this well-loved Filipino milk candy, and made it more “now”.  Since cupcakes are all the rage nowadays, why not a polvoron cupcake?  And not just any ordinary polvoron cupcake, apparently, because aside from the polvoron layer, it is also topped with white chocolate and royal icing.  Can you say “yum”?

To order, call 2963702/0932 8881350/0919 4286320 or email at anne@double-delights.com.  Their website is http://www.doubledelights.com.

3. Casa Angeline


By the time I got to this booth, my stomach was already losing pretty much all of its valuable real estate space :(.  And it was really too bad because I love flan and I was so looking forward to trying Casa Angeline’s Flan Pots.  Again, I thought it was  interesting and different to package the custard in a mason-like jar, versus a ramekin or a serving dish, as it is usually presented at home or in restaurants.  It kinda makes the leche flan look more special and sosy.  Hahaha!

The Flan Pots come in four different flavors: Leche Flan, Mango, Strawberry and Coffee Caramel.  It costs about Php225 for 3 pots.  Not bad, right? 🙂

And aside from the flan, Casa Angeline is also knows for their french macarons, cream puffs and sticky toffee pudding.  Talk about a quadruple threat!

To know more about Casa Angeline, visit their website at http://www.casaangeline.com. You can also follow them on FaceBook! 🙂

4. [unit16sweets]


Aside from the fact that I LOOOOOOOOVE chocolate, I could not help but be drawn to this booth because of the cute and quirky designs of the chocolate labels.  Then I realized they were personalized chocolate labels!  Kewl!

Mental Note: Great Gift Idea!!!!

The chocolates used are guaranteed to be of the finest quality, and comes in a variety of flavors–milk, semi-dark, dark, and mint flavored.

To know more about their pricing and how to order, you can go to their website, http://www.unit16sweets.com, or call them at 8959180.

5. The Noodle Bakes


Almost, but not quite up there next to chocolate in terms of my favorite flavors, is Green Tea or Matcha.  I blame it on Kit Kat.  Now I am addicted to anything green tea! Hahaha!

When I tried The Noodle Bakes’ Matcha White Chocolate cupcake, wow, it totally made my eyes roll to the back of my head!  Hahaha!  Okay, I’m exaggerating a bit, but I was honestly really hooked!  Like, “I want to buy a whole box and keep it to myself” hooked.  Hahaha!

Not only was the cupcake moist, but you could totally taste the matcha flavor. What I especially liked about it is that it wasn’t sickeningly sweet either.  It was just right, actually, which is pretty deadly.  That means it is perfectly “legal” to have more than just one!  Hahaha!

The Noodle Bakes is a home-based seller that can be reached through cell (+63920 920 7268) or via email (thenoodlebakes@gmail.com)

Guess what?  They also have speculoos cupcakes on limited availability!  That, I cannot wait to try!!!

6. Twisted Desserts


When my good friend M was on her radical sabbatical, she had a sideline business making uber yummy red velvet trifles that she packaged in 3 ways.  A small personalized cup, and tubs that were good enough to feed a group of 4 and 8. Ever since she had me sample her product, I’ve been having late night cravings or even dreams about it.  Seriously!!!

Sadly, M had to go back to work and her fledgling business had to take a back seat as well :(.

When I came across these Dig Deep Cups at BFF, it reminded me so much of M’s trifles!  Unfortunately, because I was already seriously full at this point, I could only sample a small morsel of the 3K Karrot, which is a cup full of carrot cake, with layers of cream cheese in between, and topped with crushed walnuts.  I was pleasantly surprised at how moist the cake was (I’ve encountered a lot of really dry carrot cakes.  Boo :(), and how the sweetness was just right.  I’m sure their Oh-riffic (Oreo) and Choc O’ Nut versions taste really yummy too!

The cool thing about these Dig Deep Cups is how you can handily eat your cake pretty much anywhere, without the mess!  Talk about having your cake and eating it too!  Hahaha!

For orders, call/text +63906 246 0976 or +63917 620 8749.  For a complete list of their products, you can visit their FaceBook page.

7. Cocoa Monster Manila


Pretty packaging always gets me right away.  If only more people realized that. You can totally take a basic product (like chocolate) and jazz it up to look like it costs a hundred bucks, all by simply giving it some awesome packaging.

In the case of Cocoa Monster Manila, they definitely made me do a double take, when I saw their edgy red, black and white design.  It definitely stood out amongst the other stalls in BFF.

Cocoa Monster offers many different types of chocolate products from tablea to fondue, to cocoa powder and specialty chocolates.  They guarantee that their products use 100% pure cocoa.

I wish I had sampled one of their truffles but like I said, I was so full, my stomach could not take anymore :(.  The good thing is, Cocoa Monster can do custom orders for events or corporate giveaways!  I may just give them a try!

For orders and inquiries, call 838 8067 to 69 or +63922 873 6638.  They also have a FaceBook page!!!

8. Kalookies


I first came across this brand through Patty Laurel’s blog.  My first thought, “I love the name!”  Hahaha!  It’s funny, catchy and memorable :).  Nowadays, the expression “kalurky!” has become such a part of Filipino lingo and this brand totally capitalized on that.  Smart.

But the great thing about this product and its name is that the experience of eating it, totally makes you feel as if you’re going “kalooky” (slang for crazy) because it’s soooo honest to goodnessly good!

I had the Kalassik cookie and the Oreolla during the fair.  Both cookies were of the deep dish kind, and just one bite had me craving for more!  Next time, I am definitely trying the Paolo Special and the White Toblerone.  Haaaaay!  At the rate I am going, todo diet na ang kailangan ko with matching barre3 and treadmill!  Hahaha!

To order Kalookies, call +63921 302 2241.

So there you have it, my picks at this year’s Best Food Forward.  Hope I’ve enticed you to give these vendors a try!  Support Filipino made, support Filipino entrepreneurs, support small businesses!