Wednesday, October 31

Crafts/DIY: 5 Cutest Halloween Costumes for Kids

I've seen so many halloween costumes that are super easy to make. Some, though, can be bought, but the potential is there! Here are my top picks for the cutest ones. Happy Halloween!

[1] Snail Costume from Oh Happy Day 

via Oh Happy Day

[2] Paper Doll from Spoonful

via Spoonful
[3] Peacock from Creatively Christy

via Creatively Christy
[4] Sushi from The Wishing Elephant / Martha Stewart for instructions

via The Wishing Elephant

[5] Wizard of Oz' Dorothy from peace love couture

Via peace love couture

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Monday, October 29

Love: Envirosax

Recently, Quezon City has banned the use of plastic bags in commercial establishments. It's a good start, but I find that the paper bags stores use are harder to reuse and recycle. Most of them are so cheap, they tear apart even before you get to your car. Some don't have a handle, and it's pretty tough to bring them along wherever you're going especially if the things you got are heavy. So, I just try to bring my own reusable bags now.

Wilcon, a popular home improvement store here, was offering free reusable eco bags / canvas bags some time ago for a minimum purchase. I think that it's a great idea rather than having to buy them. But you know, sometimes, these eco bags don't have a way of finding themselves in my bag whenever I need them. They always want to stay inside my car's trunk space. Haha.

Imagine my excitement when a couple of sets of Envirosax bags arrived at my doorstep. Each set has 5 easily foldable bags. One set has a Midnight Safari print, and the other (hopefully for Allie when she's old enough to carry them) has a Sesame Street theme. I can fit them --- neatly --- inside my mommy purse.

Each set comes with a pouch, so everything's neatly organized.

Here is the Midnight Safari print, each bag has a different black and white pattern.

This one is the Sesame Street series, with an Elmo pouch bag. Perfect for Allie because right now, she is undeniably obsessed with Elmo and the rest of the Sesame Street gang.

Each bag is a blow-up portrait of a Sesame Street character. Here's Cookie Monster. My husband used it when he went to 7-11 and bought 6 bottles of Mine Shine milk tea. Cute!

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Sunday, October 28

I Can Be Body Beautiful at Any Age with Wacoal

During my twenties, I've always feared of becoming 30. It came and went, and it was no big deal. In fact, I love being in the 30's. I'm already 31 and I am a mom to a 19-month old girl. My body changed when I gave birth.

I know because my wedding dress has a 25-inch waist. Now I can't even fit in my old pair of size 4 pants, although the legs are roomier than before. I still have a bit of the-baby-tummy. I can't get it off, even I already lost 20 pounds after pregnancy. Sometimes, I have to consciously tuck in the baby-tummy. I lose a bit of self-confidence when I realize my baby-tummy's showing. Haha. I know I'm not alone. Come on moms, admit it. *wink*

To all mommies out there, I found a really inexpensive way to hide the-baby-tummy that shows itself when wearing a skirt or a pair of jeans. It's a corset by Wacoal. It helps trim the waist and push the tummy in! Woohoo! It's just priced at P1,450 too. Super win! I know that with this product, I won't feel so self-conscious anymore. You know what they say... 'feel good and look good!'

You can visit Wacoal's website at

This Wacoal's badge says "Be Body Beautiful At Any Age", and that "Wacoal believes that every woman is made beautiful. They understand women's bodies vary, and that every woman's body changes as she ages. As she matures, a woman should exude that charm, boldness and confidence by wearing intimate apparel that truly provide comfort, support and a perfect fit. In complementing a woman's physical transformation, Wacoal offers products anchored on exceptional quality and style innovation, making sure that every woman looks her best at any age."

I agree. I think every woman has a different body-type, and her body changes over time. So it just makes sense that our undergarment sizes change too.

I am glad that a company like Wacoal recognizes this. Thank you, Wacoal.

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Friday, October 26

Food: CPK's New Look and New Food

California Pizza Kitchen is one restaurant that my husband and I frequent.

I know that in the US, they encourage you to try their other menu items, and if you didn't like it, you can exchange it for something else. I'm not sure if the same thing goes here in the Philippines. But the fact remains that while we were in the States, we always order the same thing -- Milan pizza, Thai Crunch salad, Jambalaya and two mango sweet teas. Heehee.

When I was invited to go to CPK's opening at Lucky Chinatown Mall down in Binondo, I knew I had to be there. First, I've never been to Lucky Chinatown. I've heard so many good things about the mall, but it was just too far... and whenever I go to Divisoria, I usually go to the bargain area (168 mall). Second, it was my chance na to try new food at CPK.

At first glance, it seemed like your ordinary California Pizza Kitchen.

Inside, it was a totally new concept. Most chairs (slightly in the photo) were Eames-like. The bar is mostly made of light wooden panels.

Gone are the painted pizza boxes on the walls. They were replaced with snapshots of California themes like the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I think these photos have a lot of potential. But personally, they could have presented these photos better though. I'm thinking thicker boards, or wrapped canvas, or plain white/beechwood frames. They seemed a bit too flat. But hey, that's just me.

My favorite change? Their oven. It's now covered in mosaic, with a bit of stainless steel detail. I love it. It makes me want to have one in my forever house. Hah!

For this media event, the menu includes a variety of good food. Most are new.

We were asked first for our drinks. I chose the Fruit Sangria. And did I choose well! Using white zinfandel instead of red lambrusco was amazingly good. I was impressed. Did you notice the tiny plant centerpiece at the back? Each table has this. It's very refreshing to the eyes.

Food time -- up first on the menu was the Mushroom Cappuccino Soup, served in a shot glass, with a tiny spoon on the side. It was yummy! I wanted some more, but I was too shy to ask. Haha.

The Chinese Chicken Salad had napa and red cabbage, lettuce, chicken breast and wontons, tossed with green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds and hoisin ginger vinaigrette. It was very similar to the Thai Crunch salad, so yes, this was a win for me! This, by itself, is a meal on its own. So, if you're not up for pizza or pasta, go for a salad.

One of their specialty items, the Asian Steak Wrap, was another hit. Can you just imagine this? USDA prime steak strips sautéed with yellow onions, red and geen bell peppers, bean sprouts, mozzarella and queso quesadilla cheeses baked in a tortilla wrap with nori -- served with enoki mushrooms, teriyaki glaze and wasabi dressing. They surely don't skimp on the meat. Very tasty.

Then, they served this Farmers Market pizza, which was perfect for vegetarians. It has grilled zucchinis, roasted squash, tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, mozzarella, goat cheese, Pecorino Romano and tomato sauce. When I tasted this, I swore there were apples. It has a bit of a sweet taste. I guess it was the squash. I would definitely order this one again, and that is coming from a self-professed meat-lover. *wink*

Here are some of the CPK folks having a photo op while waiting for their pizza.

They also served us Quesadillas, although they were not in the menu for the event. They had a bit of a kick to it because of the jalapeño. They reminded me of nachos. The Quesadillas is the perfect snack in my perfect world. I can eat a dozen of these.

For the pasta, they gave us Chicken Piccata. I was always used to CPK pastas having cream-based or tomato-based sauce. So seeing this was like a breath of fresh air. Any new addition is always welcome. This did not disappoint at all. I love chicken. I love capers. I love spaghetti. I love CPK. Need I say more?

They saved the best for last though. Dessert! Their desserts were made locally, as most of their items. That is why there were some CPK menu items in the US that you can't find here in the Philippines. Hey, the same thing goes with the other way around. :)

Below is aptly named Chocolate Sin. Oh em gee, it is really a sin to taste something so good. It is perfectly sweet and chocolatey. Can you believe that it's sugarless and flourless? It's topped with CPK's palm tree logo (sorry, I took the photo upside down).

This other one is called Mango Crunch. This creation has a super soft angel sponge cake, with light mango mousse topped with crunchy walnut bits and mango slices. Yummy! It was a perfect way to end the meal.

Here is their whole dessert menu full of new good stuff. Surely, you're craving some already.

Copyright California Pizza Kitchen

Copyright California Pizza Kitchen

But here is the best part...

Next week, from October 29 to November 4, CPK is having a Monstrous Week. When you order a family size pasta, you get a free regular pizza. Now, isn't that a great deal to celebrate Halloween?

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Thursday, October 25

Crafts/DIY: Dressing Up Wooden Utensils

I got this pack of wooden spoons and forks. You know, just for fun. I wanted to decorate some of them.

Last August, I went to this rubber stamping crafternoon party hosted by Alessa and Mansy. They decorated this wooden fork with stamps. Dang, they beat me to it! Haha, no, I'm just kidding. They are the most creative people I know.

I decided I've procrastinated long enough. I decorated my utensils two-way. One, with an accessory attachment, and another without. I can't wait to have another party. Haha!

{1} Plain wooden utensils, accessorized with a graphic napkin tied together with baker's twine.

Graphic table napkin from Privet House by Target;
Baker's twine from Divine Twine

{2} Wooden utensils decorated with washi tape.

Washi tape from Saizen

How did you decorate yours?

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Wednesday, October 24

Fashion: Kate Spade Saturday

"It's Saturday everyday."

You all know I am a Kate Spade fan. I love everything and anything Kate Spade.

So of course, I got excited when I heard about the new venture that's called Kate Spade Saturday. It targets a younger clientele, and from the looks of it, it's mainly an online shop ( with a freestanding flagship store in Japan. This new collection includes items from apparel to home decor, and has a price point that's 50% off most Kate Spade stuff.

I can't wait!

Below are photos of the new collection courtesy of WWD via Lucky.

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Tuesday, October 23

Design: From Townhomes to Pop-up Shops

Last week was super busy. In between paper deadlines, marketing planning, and mommy duties, we had to push through with a couple of very important events.

Thursday afternoon: We had our first townhouse project blessing. Yes folks, finally, it's finished! Done! We're just waiting for some paperwork and then it's ready for occupancy. Yay to the nth degree!

Half and half
Copyright Gables and Porch Lights

So pretty at dusk
Copyright Gables and Porch Lights

We did it!

Allie and the red balloon

Thursday night: After the blessing, my sister and I had to go to World Trade Center Manila to set-up Project Happy's pop-up store that was open until Sunday night. Soo tiring, but I think our store looked better this time. We had ladder shelves made inspired by real ladders, and had a free-standing dressing room too! Thank you to all who dropped by our shop.

Copyright Project Happy

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Thursday, October 18

Deal: Project Happy Early Birds

Project Happy will be having a pop-up store starting tomorrow until this Sunday at Superb SuperSale Bazaar at World Trade Center Manila. As a treat for our early birds, you can get up to 20% discount when you purchase at least P1,000 -- Friday only. See you there!

Like Project Happy on facebook for updates.

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Tuesday, October 16

Fashion: Warehouse Dresses

Warehouse is one of my favorite clothing stores. It is one of my go-to places when I'm looking for dresses because they have a lot of choices. I find the designs very elegant and versatile. Warehouse clothing is based in the UK, but I'm glad they have stores in the Philippines.

I was browsing through their online store, and found some dresses that I liked.

[1] Fluro Animal Wrap Dress -- I love that the animal print is in neon and grey, and it's made of lightweight chiffon. This one can be worn during daytime, and because it's chiffon, you can wear it to a more formal setting like a wedding.

Copyright Warehouse

[2] Embellished Strap Maxi -- I am a fan of maxi dresses, because they hide my imperfections. Haha. I love that this one is in a royal blue / black / white print. It's made of lightweight chiffon, too.

Copyright Warehouse

This maxi dress has a bead detailing on the neckline, so you can wear this on the beach or a party.

Copyright Warehouse

[3] Purple Gauged Wrap WW Dress -- My mommy readers would love this dress, because it hides the baby tummy! It cinches your waist too. Just use a belt to accessorize. I think it's perfect to wear at the office.

Copyright Warehouse

[4] Multi Panel Dress -- This dress makes you look thinner and have smaller hips because of the dark grey sides. The only downside? It's dry clean only.

Copyright Warehouse
[5] Black Necklace Peplum Dress -- I know peplum is all over the place right now, but this one is lovely. I think it has this subtle sexiness to it because of that see-through cleavage area. Perfect for a dinner date, don't you think?

Copyright Warehouse

[6] Feature Back Crepe Dress -- This grecian-inspired dress is just heart-melting. I love, love, love this one. The gold details and the back had me at hello. So cute with nude pumps.

Copyright Warehouse

Copyright Warehouse

Check out Warehouse dresses here.

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Monday, October 15

Food: Missing the Elvis Burger

If there's one burger place we're missing, it's Vortex in Little Five Points in Atlanta.

This was taken while I was pregnant with Allie. I know your eyes are focused on the yummy goodness that's in front of us.

Vortex has burgers with names like Coronary Bypass and Triple Coronary Bypass, I kid you not.

If you're wondering what the Coronary Bypass is, Vortex describes it as "big half-pound sirloin patty topped with a fried egg, three slices of American cheese, four slices of bacon, with plenty of mayo on the side that we expect you to slather all over this burger. And yes, it comes with a side item too."

The Triple Coronary Bypass, on the other hand, is "made with two half-pound Vortex sirloin patties stacked inside three grilled cheese sandwiches, topped with two fried eggs, eight slices of American cheese, ten slices of bacon and plenty of mayo on the side. With this burger we choose your side for you, and it’s a big bowl of fries and tots covered in our cheesy-cheese goo. This super-stack is a heart attack waiting to happen." Oh. Em. Gee. Right?

But my ultimate favorite is the Elvis Burger. My husband ordered it one time, I took a bite and fell in love. That was the start of my love affair with the Elvis Burger. It's burger topped with smooth peanut butter, fried bananas and bacon. The peanut butter got me hesitant to order it, but you know, once you get past it, you're up for a major addiction. Haha.

The fresh pickle and onion rings/tater tots are an added bonus, too.

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Sunday, October 14

Event: Trick or Treat for Unicef

Halloween is almost here, and we are still wondering what costume we'll come up with buy for Allie. Last year, I created a no-sew tutu for her to match her little pink fairy wings and wand for trick-or-treat.

I heard that Unicef just launched this Trick-or-Treat for Unicef Superheroes at The Mega Atrium at SM Megamall a couple of Saturdays ago.

It is a 60-year old Unicef tradition that started in the United States, and now it's in the Philippines. My daughter and I were not able to go, though, because we were not in town that day. I was so bummed that we were not able to because Allie would have had so much fun seeing kids enjoying the party complete with fun games, face painting, and there were even superheroes present.

Superheroes of all ages and sizes attended the grand launch of Trick or Treat for Unicef in the Philippines
Copyright Unicef
Students from Multiple Intelligence School at the Trick-or-Treat for Unicef launch
Copyright Unicef
Looks like everyone had so much fun! Kids and parents were able to get their free TOT4UNICEF kits too, which will help raise money for disadvantaged children in the Philippines and worldwide. But don't fret. You can still go to Megamall, and get your own free kits at the Unicef booth located at Building A near Toy Kingdom until the 27th.

Below are kids Lizzy, Sophie, and dad Gino. Lizzy and Sophie joined the activities during that day and signed up for Trick-or-Treat kits. They got special collection boxes, IDs and t-shirts to let people know that they are official donation collectors for Unicef.

Copyright Unicef
Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Country Representative, said, “With their energy and enthusiasm, Trick-or-Treaters for this campaign can collect donations that will contribute to better health, nutrition, water and sanitation and protection of other children. It is an example of Kids Helping Kids as it has been practiced since the Trick-or-Treat campaign was started in the United States more than 60 years ago."

So come, join me, and let's go get our kits now!

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