Month: April 2014

A Maxi Love Affair

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I used to shy away from maxi dresses and skirts, thinking that they were just too long for me. My mom bought me one a few years ago from H&M, and that one was just too long, I had to wear really high heels so I wouldn’t trip on the dress. Back then, I was really never a fan. Sometime last year, I bought my first navy blue maxi skirt from Fab2Find, and my love affair with maxi skirts began. The length was just right for vertically challenged Filipinas like me, and it also gave an illusion of length.

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This time around, I got myself a floral maxi dress, also from Fab2Find. I found it perfect for the season, and the material, perfect for traveling. It’s made of a wrinkle free stretchy fabric that is just so convenient for me. I can bring it to any of my trips and not worry about having it ironed. I even tried scrunching it up inside my luggage just to see if it still doesn’t wrinkle, and it doesn’t! It saves so much time when dressing up. Plus, the racerback detail just adds a subtle sexiness to it, right? Seeing that the dress covers up a lot of skin, that back detail is a welcome surprise.

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I know I sound really patronizing, but I honestly have been wearing this dress much more often than anything in my closet ever since I got it. It doesn’t hurt that the print is floral, you guys know how partial I am with florals. If it isn’t obvious enough, it is my current favorite. It’s also really easy to move around in, again making a great essential for traveling to places where endless walking in tours is demanded.

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See the back detail? It really is lovely, yeah?

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As for my accessories, to stick to the summer boho-ish feel, I picked these pieces from Shopaholic and Hubby’s arm party bar. The color combination works great with the dress right?

How about you, do you have any favorite summer pieces in your closet?

Floral Maxi Dress: Fab2Find

Arm Party Bracelets: Shopaholic and Hubby

photos by Benedict Bigalbal

What an Oddity (Odds Cafe and Nail Spa)

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I love discovering quirky places, especially if those places are restaurants or cafes as well. My most recent discovery is this quaint little cafe hidden in one of the corners along the bustling street of Tomas Morato. Odds Cafe and Nail Spa is unexpected among the rows and rows of busy and vibrant restaurants in the neighborhood.

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First up is a proper tour of my new favorite cafe. They are still on soft opening, and still redesigning their interiors according to the feedback of everyone who has dropped by. At least one of the owners is present at the cafe at anytime, so if you have any suggestions regarding the interior, food, drinks, or anything at all, feel free to let them now. they really do appreciate it.

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I especially love the chalkboard wall, where they commissioned the chalk typography and artwork from a close friend.

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On the other side of the restaurant are photos of different landmarks. The brick wall is a nice touch, yeah? It sort of reminds me of Brooklyn, or some Italian pizzeria, very homey.

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They also have these magazines on one area for browsing, especially for companions of those getting services done at the nail spa on the second floor.

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Then tadaaaaaa! The entrance to the nail spa upstairs. At first it sounds really weird right, a nail spa, and a coffee shop, in one? I thought so too, but it really piques your interest too, right? After the idea settled in, it kind of made sense. Picture this, a couple walks in, then the girlfriend goes up for a pampering session, then the boyfriend stays in the cafe for some coffee, all the while enjoying the free wifi connection. When the boyfriend gets bored, he can come up and bring his drinks or food with him and the couple can enjoy them together, as you can actually order food and drinks from the spa and have it there too.

It makes a lot of sense now, doesn’t it?

Now off to the food and drinks.

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Yes, even their menu is written on the chalkboard. They also have laminated copies though, in case you’d like a more thorough and complete list of what they have to offer.

At first I thought that they had the typical cafe fare, but boy was I up for a surprise. They have frappucinos, but with a twist. Instead of whipped cream simply filling the top of the drink, they use frozen whipped cream. Also, they use the huge glass goblets to serve the large frappes, which, at first sight, had me squealing with glee.

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L-R: Salted Caramel Frappe (Php 130/ Php 140), Iced Cafe Mocha (Php 100/120) Popcorn Frappucino (Php 130/140)

I don’t drink coffee because I usually get hyperacidity after drinking one, so I was happy to know that the frappes are actually caffeine free. You can opt to add espresso if you really want that caffeine punch though. Also, the popcorn frap is just amazing, it really does taste like popcorn! When the barista was making it, that popcorn smell was literally filling the room. When I saw the huge goblet, I was even more giddy. As for the taste? sure enough, it did not disappoint. However though, if you’re not a sweettooth or a fan of caramel-ish flavors, you might find this too sweet. You can opt to try the Iced Mocha, Tiramisu flavors which might be more to your liking.

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Waffle Pops- Strawberry (Php 100 for five pieces)

Aside from the place, and drinks being really photogenic, even the food is! These waffle pops are sooo Instagram-able. At 100 for five pieces, the price is just right. You can also pick from other flavors like Caramel, Chocolate, Raspberry and Maple.

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Iced Salted Caramel (Php 110/130), Iced Cafe Mocha (Php 100/120)

This is a size comparison between a regular sized drink (right) and a large sized one. These things are just so photogenic. Sorry I can’t help but repeat that, because they really are!!!

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Belgian Waffles (Php 85) – Nutella and Caramel

I like my waffles warm and crispy, and with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. The ones Odds served had a frozen scoop of whipped cream instead, but was also crispy and warm, just to my liking.

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Tiramisu Frappe (Php 130/ Php 140)

As I mentioned before, if you don’t like the sweet drinks, you can opt for Tiramisu instead. I got to try it as well, and it does have that coffee liquor-ish taste like the pastry.

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Meet the spread that kept my tummy happy that day. 

Aren’t they all so adorable?

Next up is the spa.

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The spa is usually dim lit, but we had all the lights turned on because we wanted to take nice photos.

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they have a great selection of polishes to choose from, like Orly, OPI, China Glaze, and they even have UV Gel nail polish.

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Here is a photo of the swatches you can choose from.

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And now, my donya moment, getting pampered by the attendants at the spa. I got the Pamper Me Package (Php 650) which includes a manicure, pedicure and foot spa. The service was good, I loved how my nails turned out, and the foot spa was great for my tired soles. It took longer than I expected though, more than two hours just for the mani pedi. Nonetheless, I had a great time.

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I got ORLY matte nails for both my hands and feet, country club khaki for my mani, then haute red for my pedi. It was my first time to try the matte top coat and I was really happy with the way it turned out.

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For my foot spa, I got the rejuvenating scrub, I didn’t notice the difference though, but  it was sort of refreshing, and the scrub smelled really nice.

The nail spa is actually great for sparties of small groups. There is a tv screen where you can watch a movie of your liking, or you can give them a copy of any videos you’d like to watch and they bwould be able to play it for you and your friends. As I have mentioned before, you can also bring food and drinks from down at the cafe to the spa, so you can enjoy the experience and still fill your hungry tummies while at it.

Odds Cafe and Nail Spa offers an experience I have never had in any other place, and I would recommend it to everyone. If you’re free and planning to drop by anytime soon, Odds Cafe & Nail Spa is currently on their Soft Opening until the end of April. This means Buy 1 Take 1 on all handcrafted beverages from 1 PM- 4 PM, and 20% off all Nail Spa Services.

Odds Cafe & Nail Spa
105B Scout Castor corner Tomas Morato 1103 Quezon City, Philippines
Contact:
(02) 3550910
Cafe is Open from Monday-Thursday (12 PM – 12 AM) and Friday-Saturday (12 PM – 2 AM)
Spa is Open from Monday-Sunday (12 PM – 10 PM)
Like Odds Cafe & Nail Spa on Facebook and Follow Odds Cafe & Nail Spa on Instagram

Thank you Odds cafe and Nail Spa for having me!

Odds Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Giveaway: Paradise Treats 3rd Anniversary Part 2

Here goes the second part of my giveaway series with Paradise Treats! I have retained the same mechanics as the first one, to make it easier for everyone to join. 🙂

Hit the read more break for the Rafflecopter widget, to send in your entries!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the Rafflecopter widget does not appear immediately, please give it a few moments to load properly. 🙂

Reminders:

  • This giveaway is open to Philippine Residents only
  • Deadline of submission of entries is on May 5,2014 12:01AM
  • Winner will be chosen via random.org and will be announced shortly after at the Pretty Ingenious Facebook Page.
  • all entries will be double checked for validity
  • there will be two more parts of this giveaway, so keep your entries coming!

Warm Sunshine

“But once in a while, you pick the right thing, the exact best thing. Every day, the moment you open your eyes and pull off your blankets, that’s what you hope for. The sunshine on your face,warm enough to make you heart sing.” ― Sarah Ockler, Bittersweet

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I love the sun! I think the sun’s rays make me look very photogenic, yay for sun!A funny tidbit about me though: Every time I think about the sun, I always find myself singing a song from the children’s show, Barney. The song goes like this,

O Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
Please shine down on me
O Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
Hiding behind a tree
These little children are asking you
To please come out so we can play with you
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
Please shine down on me

Well that’s all that I can remember about the song, but I can never seem to forget it. I used to watch Barney shows when I was tasked to watch over my little brother, we are aged 9 years apart, please don’t judge me. Barney songs are just too catchy for my life, I know a few more others by heart actually, including the I love you song.

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Anyway, enough about Barney, you did not go to my blog just to read about some kids-oriented show. I wore this look when I went to Manila Sundance Bazaar a few weeks ago. It was hot, as usual, but as I looked up the sky, I thought there was a probability of a drizzle, so I wore a cover up on top of my really breezy dress, just in case.

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Cover ups like this one from Flattering Tops are my go-to’s for unpredictable weather. Slip one on when you feel chilly, take it off when it feels warm. The material is important too, like this one, it is made of really thin material, so it doesn’t add to the heat even with the layering.

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To keep everything simple, and easy for shopping, I finished my look with these jelly flats from Yamamay, which are also perfect for the beach, btw. Were you surprised that Yamamay has footwear? I was too. I thought Yamamay only sold lingerie, swimwear, and some pieces of clothing; I was certainly not expecting any footwear.

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I love this dress from Paradise Treats (please keep joining my giveaway with them) because it is perfect for the weather, and comfortable to move in too. The color and print is very summery too, so that’s a great plus.

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I got these bracelets from Shopaholic and Hubby’s armparty bar at the bazaar, and I had a lot of fun making this set, all the while matching it to my look.

What do you think of my casual summer look?

Violet Shawn Drapes: Flattering Tops

Aztec Print Shift dress: Paradise Treats

Bracelets: Shopaholic and Hubby

Stone Jelly Flats: Yamamay

Just What I Needed (Soneva Organic Spa)

I told myself that after all the craziness has died down, I would treat myself to a day of pampering. This promise was something I looked forward to, with everything that has happened. True enough, a pampering session was just what I needed.

The invitation from Soneva Organic Spa could not have come at a better time because I was really stressed out. After a grueling semester that just kept testing my willpower, I’m finally done with it all! I’m graduating this April! Celebrate with me!!!! As always, thank you UP, for one hell of a college ride.

Now, I’m off to start the next chapter of my life, but first, I have to pass my board exams! I’m currently enrolled in a review center, and hopefully, when I’m confident enough, I’ll take the board exam this June. Wish me luck, I need all the luck that I can get. 🙂

Anyway, back to the spa. I often treat myself to massages when I feel like I deserve it, or when I’m excessively stressed, so you can say I am a big fan of the service. I also judge a spa by it’s amenities as well as the service, so expect a mini tour.

Here’s a look on a standard room, I love that everything is neatly laid out. Soneva provides customers with clean robes and spa shorts, a pair of rubber slippers, and a handful of towels for convenience and ease.

A closer look at the robe and shorts, which I eventually wore before my massage started.

I also appreciated that each room had these lockers, so you can keep your valuables in them while getting the service of your choice. It’s a thoughtful addition to a spa’s usual features, and I really liked that. I wasn’t really comfortable leaving my money and gadgets on the bedside table, with easy access to the masseuse to steal. Again, the locker is really a big plus for me.

I chose the Traditional Hilot with Banana Leaf Therapy, which costs Php 699 for one (1) hour of service. I chose that, because, well, it sounded interesting, and the clerk told me that it would be great for my back. Since I have really bad posture, and had a lot of issues with my back, I went with that.

As I said before, I always choose the HARD option when it comes to massages. True enough, the masseuse didn’t disappoint. She always asked if the pressure was okay, and asked if I wanted any adjustments, which was great. The banana leaf is actually I think burned, or heated, then placed at different areas on my back. The leaves are applied with increasing heat, to prep the skin. It was soothing, but a little bit of a let down, because I was expecting something else I guess. Then the leaves are left on the skin for a few minutes, taken off, then the masseuse continues the massage with the rest of the body. Overall, I was happy with my service, because at the end of it, I couldn’t feel any tension at all. For almost 700, the massage was worth every piso.

I also love that they gave free tea to every customer, and they have options too. I picked Jasmine, as that was my preference when it comes to tea, and it was a great finishing touch to my massage.

I wouldn’t mind going back, because I really did like the service. Plus it was in a strategic location, where I could have dinner with my friends or family at a nearby restaurant, after any service. The staff was friendly too, and the interiors are calming, as the usual with any spa I have visited.

They also have this cafe-ish area where you can lounge with your friends, or any of your companions while  waiting for your turn.

Thank you Soneva, for a great relaxing visit.

To know more about Soneva, you can visit their official blog, and official website. For any inquiries, you can reach them via these numbers, landline: (632) 926-6249 and mobile: (632) 0917 4071129

Soneva Organic Spa
Address: Tomas Morato corner Limbaga St., 270 4th Floor, Forum Building, Quezon City, Metro Manila
Service Hours: Monday-Sunday 1:00pm – 12:00mn
Email: info@sonevaspa.com

A Floral Affair

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Have you noticed that a lot of my outfits lately have at least one floral component? Well, I realized that just now. Teehee. I didn’t know I had so much floral items in my closet until I looked at my Lookbook profile, so many flowers! Anyway, florals are still in anyway, since it’s still the season for spring and summer prints, so my posts are still appropriate.

Anyhoo, for this post, I’ll be showing you guys two of my current favorite floral items, in two looks, so don’t forget to hit the read more break, yeah?

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When wearing prints, you can always go bold and do print on print. If you’re not so fashionably adventurous, you can go the safe route and pair your floral print with solid colored items.

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In my case, I wore my busy printed peplum top with plain colored denim cutoffs, to keep the focus on my top. I also wore this on a casual day out, so I didn’t want to be too dressy.

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Another great thing about this look is that it is perfect for summer, and perfect for our scorching hot weather lately.

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I especially love the back detail, to show off a sexy back cutout.

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Also, I love love love these new wedges Ingga has come up with. I also can’t believe how comfortable these are!

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Floral Peplum Top: Fab2Find

Yellow Denim Cutoffs: Mango

Wedges with Interchangeable straps: Ingga

For the second look, I was actually thinking of the beach. The long sheer floral top would be great as a cover up, as well as a casual top for the season.

You can’t see it in the photos but the material is actually really sheer, but since the print is so loud, it doesn’t look sheer. This coverup would be great to hide bulges, or anything you would like to keep to yourself while strolling on the beach. Plus, the length is perfect, it falls right below where you would typically wear your swimwear bottom, and longer at the back.

Black Floral Sheer Mullet Tank: Fab2Find

Beach Sandals: Yamamay

So there goes my two floral summer looks, what do you think about them?

P.S. Don’t forget to join my Paradise Treats Giveaway! It’s ending soon. 🙂

Manila Sundance Bazaar 2014

Before hitting the beach and basking under the hot summer sun, what do you do? Summer shopping of course! Well, aside from getting your beach body ready, you have to get your wardrobe ready as well.

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I went to the beach-themed Manila Sundance Bazaar a few weeks ago to do just that. I visited my bazaar-loves and here are my shop picks for great summer finds.

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First up, is Shopaholic and Hubby, they set up this systematic arm party bar so you can mix and match pieces to make your perfect summer set. I had a lot of fun making mine, check them out online so you can make yours too!

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That’s me, asking the owner, Bianca, if the set I have on looks great my look that day.

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Meet Bianca, the super bubbly half of Shopaholic and Hubby.

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Also in the same booth was fab2find who I wore in here, and here. I was really really happy they have new designs, and were perfect for summer too! And oh, meet Nhez, the lovely and friendly owner.

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Here are Harry of fab2find, and Arvin, the other half of Shopaholic and Hubby. It’s always a pleasure to talk with these two because they never run out of funny comments and jokes. Especially Harry, he had the most infectious laugh, ever.

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On the Hubby side, they sell these kicks, they even sell those most coveted Air Jordan Retros. If you see anything you like, find them on Instagram: @shopaholicandhubby. They just came from a buying trip, so visit them for more kicks!

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Another great find for summer are these DIY multi-way sandals from Ingga. Instead of bringing different pairs of shoes to your trips this season, why not get just one pair from Ingga, then experiment with different styles with their beautiful selection of straps. That way, you’ll save precious space in your luggage!

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Another brand that I’ve grown to love is Cesa. I met the owner Chaley, at a workshop more than a year ago, and it still amazes me how this girl manages to do it all. She designs all the swimwear for her line, is really successful, but she stays humble as ever.

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Now for the brand behind my latest giveaway series, Paradise Treats! Their designs are always perfect for the girly girl. Whimsical and romantic, you’ll surely be able to love something from their collections, whatever your style may be.

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Meet Pat, who’s really perky when she’s attending to customers, so  buying from her really is a breeze. 🙂

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When it comes to basics, no one does it better than Flattering Tops. The fabric they use is perfect for summer, light and airy, I’m always wearing Flattering Tops everywhere this season. Case in point, my coverup! The perfect coverup when you don’t want to show skin on such a hot day would be the Shawn drapes I have on.

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Meet Diane, the sexy owner, who’s always such a fun person to talk to.

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And for something for both guys and girls, visit The Urban Hour! They’ve got the edgiest but still wearable pieces ever!

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Celine, the lovely girl beside me, is the owner of The Urban Hour, and she always represents her brand.

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All in all, I had a great time at the bazaar, can’t you tell? I can’t wait for the next leg! 🙂

P.S. Don’t forget to join my ongoing giveaway, yeah?

Giveaway: Paradise Treats 3rd Anniversary Part 1 (CLOSED)

Paradise Treats, one of our favorite proudly Filipino made online clothing shops, is celebrating their 3rd year anniversary!

To celebrate this milestone,Paradise Treats has partnered with a few bloggers, like me, to host giveaways! I will be having three giveaways, with three clothes and one winner for each one. This is the first part of the giveaway series, and I can’t wait to post the next one!

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Hit the read more break for the Rafflecopter widget, to send in your entries!

If the Rafflecopter widget does not appear immediately, please give it a few moments to load properly. 🙂

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reminders:

  • This giveaway is open to Philippine Residents only
  • Deadline of submission of entries is on April 19,2014 12:01AM
  • Winner will be chosen via random.org and will be announced shortly after at the Pretty Ingenious Facebook Page.
  • all entries will be double checked for validity
  • there will be two more parts of this giveaway, so keep your entries coming!