Saturday, August 31

A Snippet of My Busy Week

I am so thankful it's the weekend already. My busy week started last Saturday, and it went on non-stop. I attended Dainty Mom's fab workshop on "Your Blog, Your Bliss." It was an eye-opener for me. It made me see the possibilities on how to grow my blog and make it better.

After the workshop, I headed to Acacia Estates and attended Mommy Fleur's anniversary party. I promised her na hahabol ako, and even if I only got to stay at the tail-end of her party, it was worth it. I met mommy bloggers, whom I've met online but never in person, and some of her friends. It was so weird in an amazing way, because it seemed like we've known each other for a long time na. Hmm, come to think of it, it was my first time meeting Fleur too. I would have written a whole post about it had I witnessed the whole thing. But I missed most of it. If you're curious, head on to the posts of Kikay Mommy Sha, Aimee Diego, Arkimom, and Mommy Fleur herself.

The next couple of days, I prepared for my two-day stint as a guest lecturer for watercolor down in UP Arki. Some of you who follow me on Instagram might have noticed a few watercolor artworks that I made. Yep, that's the reason. It has been ages since I've used watercolor, and I needed a refresher. If you're looking for a tutorial, especially on flowers, go to The Alison Show's blogpost on Yao watercolor tutorial series.

Thursday, I had to catch up with helping my husband with documents for his real estate business. There were quite a number of things I had to do before the week was up. Then just yesterday, Allie and I attended SM Kids Fashion Toon Fest at Megamall Megatrade Hall. She had loads of fun! Be sure to go visit this weekend and explore the different booths (Disney, Betty Boop, Sesame Street, Garfield, and Robby Rabbit are among them). There are a lot of activities in store for you and your kids.

After that, we went with Daddy E to the office to do some stuff real quick, then decided to go home earlier than usual. We couldn't be more satisfied to be home before dark on a Friday payday. I can just imagine how bad the traffic was last night.

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Monday, August 26

Food: Croissant Doughnuts vs. Kouign Amann

I have been a forever fan of kouign amann ever since I had it in Brasserie CiÇou. I had it again very recently, alongside the famous croissant-doughnuts (this is what they call them) of Wildflour. So, I said, why not do a showdown to see which one is better? I will do a comparison between the two products from these restaurants in terms of the usual categories.

Cronut (trademarked by Dominique Ansel) wannabes here in Manila have prices that range from P75 to P140. I only tried the dessert fad from two different places (one from a cafe that's priced at around P90 per piece), and I found Wildflour's to be much superior. Wildflour's are among the more expensive ones (P120-140). CiÇou's kouign amann is P120 a piece. But that's without the salted caramel ice cream.
Winner: Tie

Cronuts have different flavors, much like their brothers from another mother, donuts. Kouign amann so far has one; but a little birdie told me that Brasserie CiÇou is launching a chocolate flavored one very soon. I can't wait to try it out.
Winner: Wildflour's Croissant-Doughnuts

Caloric Information
Now, I am not a diet expert. I only based this on my observation and from chatting with my chef cousin. Similar to how donuts are made, cronuts are fried (although some establishments do bake them). On the other hand, kouign amanns are baked. So, are kouign amanns healthier? Not necessarily. They probably have the same calories as cronuts because although kouign amanns are baked, they are full of butter and sugar. Cronuts are, well, like donuts... and we know how those things get to our thighs. Right, ladies?
Winner: Tie

Now for the most important part. I found Wildflour's croissant-doughnuts to be greasy (because it's fried) and sweet (because of the glazing). They are indeed flaky inside, and a bit chewy (good). Kouign amanns are much more like croissants that have the right amount of buttery goodness and sugary sweetness to it. If it isn't obvious here, I like kouign amanns better than croissant-doughnuts. But I guess it really depends on my mood. Sometimes, I do like sweets, and this is when I will choose cronuts, in general, over kouign amanns. But on any normal day, the kouign amann gets my vote. Now, if you put salted caramel ice cream into the mix, just like how it is usually served at CiÇou, it's kouign amann for me, hands down.
Winner: Brasserie CiÇou's Kouign Amann

On a side note, I also asked my husband to give both a try. He liked the croissant-doughnuts better than the kouign amann. So I guess, it's just a matter of personal taste. If you are the-sweeter-the-better kind of person, I bet that cronuts will win your heart.
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A Free MBA Master Class by Bradford Manila

I've always believed in continuing education, and I think that this is a great opportunity for students and business leaders alike to attend. It is a Master Class about strategy in emerging markets and it is made possible by Bradford Manila. Strategy is one of the subjects I loved in graduate school, and having it available here in Manila as a Master Class specifically catered to emerging markets is just wonderful. Oh, and did I mention that it's free and open to the public?

Read on if you know someone who might be interested.

Bradford MBA Manila to hold Master Class on Competitive Firm Strategies

The University of Bradford School of Management Manila (Bradford MBA Manila) invites students, business leaders, and other interested parties to its Master Class on “Competitive Firm Strategies in Emerging Markets”.

This will be held on September 4, 2013, 12:00 NN at the Bradford MBA Manila campus, ground floor of the Makati Stock Exchange, Ayala Avenue, Makati City.

The Master Class is free of charge and open to the public. For inquiries and seat reservation, please call +632-4748345, +632-5019347 or email

Prof. Jim Kayalar, current faculty of the school will be presiding the lecture. Prof. Kayalar is the managing director of Business Tune-up, a New Jersey-based management consulting company which focuses on strategic marketing and operational management on an international basis for small, medium and large corporations. He completed his MBA in Business Administration at the University of Western Australia. He has had many publications in the Harvard Business Review.
As of 2012, Bradford MBA is one of only 57 business schools across the world that has achieved the ‘triple crown’ of accreditations from AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System) and AMBA (the Association of MBAs). These accreditations differentiate a business school in terms of quality, rigour and relevance. No other MBA Program in the Philippines is so widely accredited.
The Bradford School of Management recently received a number of other plaudits. The Financial Times rankings continue to place Bradford among Europe's top 50 business schools.  The latest QS Global 200 report shows that international employers rank BSOM among the world's top 200 business schools that they want to recruit from.
Bradford MBA Manila accepts MBA candidates quarterly with the next intake being this October. For more details on the Master Class and Bradford MBA Manila, log on to its official web site
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Wednesday, August 21

Event: Freehand Calligraphy at the Scribble Workshop

Last weekend, my sister and I braved the rain and went to Kitchen's Best Home Patisserie at Bonifacio Global City to join the Scribble Workshop. It was hosted by Alexis of Ink Scribbler. It was our second time to join a calligraphy workshop; we had our first with Fozzy's Calligraphy Play. Now, it's all about freehand cursive calligraphy.

I learned about the Scribble Workshop from Fozzy. When she shared the workshop details, I immediately sent an email to Alexis saying I wanted to join. Good thing too because the slots filled up so fast, one of my sister's friends who wanted in wasn't able to join.

It was the first ever Scribble Workshop so I was thrilled to get a spot. Sure, I attended a calligraphy workshop before, but I haven't been practicing, so you could say I'm still a beginner much like the first-timers. Hehe.

Here we are inside the function room.

First image above from Ink Scribbler
Alexis supplied us with the tools we needed. We did pencil and pen drills. Then we wrote and wrote and wrote. Time flew by quickly because we had sooo much fun.

Writing with the flexible nib really takes time to get used to. But once you do, it's like riding a bike. You won't forget when you need to put pressure and when not to. All you have to worry about is if you're using a new nib. Each kind of nib feels different. At least for me.

I highly recommend joining Alexis' Scribble Workshop. Follow her on facebook to know when her next workshop will be. And folks, do NOT hesitate signing up, because it really does fill up quickly.

Image from Ink Scribbler

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Tuesday, August 20

Baby: Of Birth Announcements and Family Pictures

I recently posted about Design vs. Love's Baby Collection, and the prints are gorgeous. They reminded me of the time when I had some birth announcements made when Allie was born. Personally, I love giving old-fashioned cards instead of e-cards and emails. I love having to hold something tangible.

Allie was just a few days old when I took photos of her sleeping, smiling while sleeping, awake, and all other states of lying down. I chose a few for the birth announcement folded card.

It seemed just yesterday when I had this made. Time really flies. My baby is now two and a half, and she loves to run, crawl, hide under tables, go up the slide, climb the stairs, try to jump (she can't yet haha), and do everything to test your patience. People say that my little girl is like a little boy in terms of kalikutan. Don't get me wrong, I love watching her do and try things on her own. She's very active.

When she turned one, she was just trying to walk then and it was easy for us to take photos with her. This was taken during her birthday party by a professional photographer.

A few months after, we took a trip to Seattle, and there she enjoyed the grassy parts of Chittenden Locks. Family pictures were getting rarer by that time because she can walk and run alone. But my nephew took this nice shot of us.

Our most recent one is this one taken from a phone (hahaha), by my sister. Allie now knows how to smile when asked. Before, each smile was purely coincidental.

I really should have our family pictures taken more often. I only have a handful, and I think it's not going to be enough. Allie is growing up too fast, and I want to capture moments when we're all together.
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Monday, August 19

Toddler: Flower Girl on a Sunday Afternoon

A cousin of mine got married one Sunday afternoon. Allie was one of the flower girls. The motif the chose was teal and gold.

My mom, my sisters and I got dolled up by Kim Tan-Rodriguez, the fab artist behind the Beauty Addict blog. This was our second time getting her as our make-up artist for a wedding. Haha, isn't it obvious we like her so much?

My mom's and Allie's dresses were custom made by the same one who did my cousin's bridal gown. As for my dress and my sisters', we wore mint and they were all retail. From left to right: on Sasa, Topshop; on Veronica, Miss Selfridge; on me, Banana Republic BR Monogram.

Allie got so excited to wear her dress because it was so shiny and puffy. Parang ballgown ang peg ng skirt ng dress niya!

We arrived at the church an hour early. Here we are playing with my sister's gold clutch.

The flower girls were each given a tiny metal blue pail filled with flowers. It was cute but a bit on the heavy side. Here's Allie sitting near the blue carpet playing with the flowers. Haha.

Daddy E and I were candle sponsors. I love the giant match stick igniters. I prefer this over the traditional matches -- I have a hard time lighting matches.

Allie just loves flowers. She played with the petals all throughout the ceremony. A good way for kids to pass the time and not get bored. Well, aside from playing with the flowers, she took off her shoes and went under the pews. Uh oh.

The wedding reception was held at Taste of L.A., a little restaurant down in Morato area. We were seated at the balcony area. Allie was overlooking the bride and groom behind the glass upstairs. I think it was a good seat plan because Allie was noisy. Haha.

I think she enjoyed the food. Mmmmmhmmm.

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Flight Cancelled? No Problem.

With the frequent visits of storms and typhoons, domestic flights often get cancelled. We are planning a short family trip sometime next month, and I always worry about cancellations. Then I heard about a press release that there's an agency out there that offers assistance to those affected by flight cancellations. They are just a phone call away -- you can even call them over the internet. One less thing to worry about.

Read on.


Murang Lipad offers travel assistance to passengers affected by flight cancellations
Here's great new for travellers! Murang Lipad, a division of Triplestar Travel & Tours, announced that it is offering flight reservation assistance to passengers affected by flight cancellations. It services ticket reservation of all major carriers in the Philippines, particularly Tiger Air, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Jetstar.
            To avail of specialized travel assistance, passengers may call the reservations hotline at 849-0100 or visit Office hours are extended from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM daily to accommodate travel needs of affected passengers.
            Triplestar has 11 ticketing offices nationwide, particularly in Makati, Manila Domestic Airport, Quezon City, SM Clark, Cebu City, Cebu International Airport, Davao City, Davao International Airport, Puerto Princesa, Tacloban and Bacolod. All are strategically located to cater to passengers’ immediate travel requirements.
# # #
About Murang Lipad
Murang Lipad, a division of Triplestar Travel and Tours Inc., is a one-stop portal offering assistance in product and service comparison of the best travel deals. It aims to offer expert travel advise to consumers about airline tickets, hotel accommodations, and travel and tour packages.
Originally known as Leisure Escape Packages (LEP), a division of South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) that provided ancillary travel services to clients, LEP spun off in January 2009 as a full-service travel agency under the name of Triplestar Travel and Tours, Inc. In 2010, it was appointed as the General Sales Agent of Tiger Airways in the Philippines.
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Sunday, August 18

Food: Cream Puffs and Profiteroles

During a party that we hosted, a good friend of ours gave us a couple of boxes of cream puffs and profiteroles (cream puffs with chocolate sauce topping).

I remembered making some cream puffs a few years back, and I found it easy to do. Don't be discouraged by using choux pastry and chantilly cream filling. If I can do it, so can you.

Here's the link for a video recipe from the Joy of Baking (a really, really great book by the way). The cream puffs here were sliced in half, but I found it easier to eat if you poke a hole into the baked pastry and fill it up with the cream using a pastry bag or ziplock with the tip attachment.

Have fun!

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Friday, August 16

Crafts/DIY: Illustrations and Doodles

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see a few amateurish art illustrations and doodles by me.

Well, I was bored one day, and I decided to do an illustration of a botanical. I used my husband's colored pencil set that was just lying around and did this. It could be better, but it's good enough for me.

Another day, I went to Scribe down in Eastwood City, and bought some nibs. Their paper bag is adorned with this illustration. I just copied it because I think it looks cute. Okay, and easy to draw.

Here's a mish mash of flower doodles. I got some ideas here and there. I just forgot where.

I drew this floral frame in red ink. I think it was from a wall decal. I made it fancier by using Typic and added parallels and the words "I love you to the moon and back".

I might just dabble in watercolor next.

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Wednesday, August 14

Crafts/DIY: Paper Bows

Here's a cute way to decorate your gifts. Instead of ribbons, why not use paper bows?

You can print out the last photo below, then use that as a template on old wrapping papers or old magazines like these:

Read more for instructions...

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Good News: Wicked in Manila Tickets

It's finally here! Wicked will be in Manila beginning January 22, 2014. Tickets will go on sale at TicketWorld starting August 15, 2013 at 10am. Yay!!!

Image from Concertus Manila

Seats are priced from P1,750 to P7,000. 
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Tuesday, August 13

Food: Getting the Best of Both Worlds

I always say yes to dried mangoes and I never say no to chocolates. So whoever mixed 'em up together to come up with chocolate-dipped dried mangoes gets my praise. Earlier this month, I got to taste a couple of brands all the way from Cebu -- Cebu Best and R&M.

A box of Cebu Best's Mango Chocolate contains 12 individually-packed pieces of Belgian chocolate-dipped dried mango strips. The whole dried mango strip is covered with a thick layer of chocolate.

The Choco Mangga box from R&M Preserves has 20 individually-wrapped pieces, and the dried mango strip is only partially dipped in dark chocolate.

They are actually both good. But you can taste the dried mango better with the R&M brand. Cebu Best is more sinful because of the thick chocolate layer. These will make great gifts for friends who want to taste something different, and you can only get the best dried mangoes from the Philippines.

I don't know if they have other flavors, but crushed almonds and caramel sound yummy!

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Fashion: 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target

Okay folks, I was just wishing last night that the Phillip Lim for Target preview would already come out. Now it's here, and I can't wait to share it with you. The pieces are to die for. It's part of the fall collection, and somehow, every fall and winter, Target seems to hit it on the spot -- Missoni in 2011 and Neiman Marcus (I still can't get over it!) in 2012. I'm pretty sure this one will run out pretty quickly because the clothing pieces are so sophisticated, and the bags, oh the bags, please don't get me started (or I will never stop). Clothes are set at $19.99 to $299.99, and accessories are priced from $19.99 to $59.99.

The nearest Target is about a 10-hour airplane ride, but I am going to pull all the strings now to get my hands on some of them.

Phillip Lim's Pashli medium satchel like the one on the left costs $825. But with the Phillip Lim for Target, you can get the bag of similar shape from the same designer at a fraction of the cost. Well, until you can afford the expensive ones, collaborations are the way to go. They use cheaper materials, and the quality is much lower, but hey, designers still put their names on these items.

Images from Phillip Lim and Target via Refinery 29

Well, anyway, as for my picks. Here they are. All images below are via Refinery 29. So check them out for the whole collection.





The collection also have items for men, by the way. Nice right?

So schedule your visits this coming September 15. Get your plastics ready people. It's going to be exciting! :P

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Fashion: Those Melissima Shoes

The first time I saw these shoes from the Melissa x Karl Lagerfeld collection, I fell in love with it.

I was determined to get the black jelly patent  Melissima from Geleia, the store here that carries Melissa shoes. I went to the Trinoma branch. I saw it on display. I was so excited to finally try it and confirm its comfort.

Then I asked the store associate for my size. They said Melissima only come up to a size 8. Meaning, the store didn't stock up on the size 9. I was so disappointed because I know they carry this style bigger sizes in other countries. You see, I wear a size 9 -- a pretty common size internationally, but here not so much. It's considered giant's feet. Sigh.

I can buy it from Saks Fifth Avenue or Shopbop. They sell it at $145 + tax, far more than the price they sell it here in Manila. Don't ask me why it's cheaper here because I don't know why. It just sucks that I can't get one.

Maybe I should just suck it up and pay extra just to have it. I might do just that.

Sorry for the rant. xo - Frustrated Melissima Lover
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Monday, August 12

Interior: H&M Home 2014 Simple Living Picks

I'm sure you must have heard about it now. H&M has their own line of home decor, and they are just gorge! You can also now shop online US folks, yipee!

Look at the Simple Living collection. It's a casual combination of raw and soft textures with a mix of washed materials and neutrals with graphic prints. Here are my picks.

1 Shower curtain $19.95: This white, water-repellent polyester shower curtain is printed with the partial New York City map. I love how it is 79" long, longer than the standard 6 feet.

2 Soap dispenser $7.95: This one is matchy-matchy with the shower curtain. I love the way it looks.

3 Bath mat $9.95: The print reminded me of my DIY bus roll. The bath mat is made from thick cotton terry with jacquard-weave motif. What's not to love?

4 Candle $5.95: What had me is the no-nonsense label. The white glass diffuses the candle light and it's unscented so it's perfect for an intimate table setting.

5 Linen cushion cover $17.95: I have a weakness for washed linen cushion covers with simple prints like this. It reminds me of Victoria Grayson's wingback chair from the TV show Revenge. Well, just kinda.

6 Storage basket $12.95-$14.95: Made from woven jute, these baskets have a simple stencil print at the front. It also has a plastic lining, and the top and two handles have metal trims for stability. These will look great in a little boy's room.

Okay, more good news. Until August 22, you can get a hold of their opening offers like cushion covers for only $4 a pop and bath towels for $5. Double yay!

Note to my readers in the Philippines: A little birdie told me H&M is coming to Manila this October 2013. Well, hopefully, they bring in the Home stuff too. I'll be first in line for sure. 

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