Sunday, August 23, 2015

I´m Falling in Love to This: Polka Dot Travel Tote Bag

Black and white monochrome continues to be an unbeatable versatile trend that transitions between seasons. But when it comes to monochrome prints and patterns, polka dot remains my best pick-me-up. I don´t care if all the vogue stylists, writers and socialites out there would claim that one shouldn´t wear polka dots unless she´s in grade 3 or under, polka dot is a powerful and most-chic print if you know how to rock it well.

That said, I´m sharing this polka dot tote bag that I found from Tommy Hilfiger. Tote bag is one of my favorite companions when travelling … actually I usually bring with me three bags when I´m traveling—a satchel, a tote, and a small cross body bag. Lately, the tote bag that I´ve been using mostly for my adventures is an orange/nude one and I think it would be happy to rest for say, two summers, and be taken over by this black and white polka dot.

Oh, I just can´t resist it!

For Girls Who Love Baby Blue

1. Jushee Women's MRdlgeip Stiletto High Heels Closed Pointed Toe Patent Spring Summer Autumn Party Pumps 

2. Baby Blue Solid Color Shawl Pashmina Scarf Wrap Shawls Pashminas NEW 

3. Classic Tall Large TOSCA Hobo Shoulder Handbag Silver Buckles Italy (Light Blue) 

4. OSA Women Fashion Cool Short Sleeve Wrap Cotton Tunic Shirt Lace Tops 

5. John Lennon Vintage Style Round Silver Hippie Party Shades Sunglasses BLUE LENS

6. FASH Gold Padlock Shopper Zipper Hobo Shoulder Handbag,Light Blue,One Size

Since I´ve grown older my favorite colors have evolved a lot. In fact, the colors I wore often when I was in my teens, early twenties, late twenties, and now in my early thirties, differed. But that´s only normal, right? As we grow older, our style evolve, and that includes colors we prefer. But there´s one color that I always liked and it never changed—the light blue or baby blue.

I love the soft hue of light blue, it´s like the peaceful summer sky, it´s so gentle, soft and comfortable. I didn´t actually realize that light blue remains my most favored color, until today when while browsing for products for this week´s fashion blog posts for Creative Fashion main, I came across this pair of light blue pumps (#1) with stunning red sole and cigarette heels. I´m mesmerized. And it urged me to make this post here on my personal blog.

 Let me know what you think of light blue. Is it your fave color too?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I Look Like Victoria Beckham + Post-Birthday Outfits

Me, with friends Minda and Ana. May 2015

I look like Victoria Beckham … Not!

Okay, here´s the truth, I´d like to think that in this photo, I kind of emulate VB´s style. That´s because I like Victoria so much and I wished I can be like her—stylish and successful.

I admire how she evolved into an elegant woman. She´s ambitious with strong work ethics. I also like the fact that she´ve never said anything ill against others. Even if someone criticizes her, she does not respond with negativity, she only focuses on her work and in building her brand. I like that.

Back to my look, this black empire waist dress that I wore with a gray bolero is a post birthday outfit. Since moving to Germany and attending a small Seventh Day Adventist church here in our city in 2011, I´ve been sharing my birthday with Ana (right), and we celebrate it together the following Sabbath after our birthday.

Our birthday is May 13, that makes us both Taurus, but Ana is such a soft spoken, laidback and absolutely nice lady whose personality is so opposite to my bull nature. But at least I´m learning to tame my stubborn personality as I grow older.

Ana and I. May 2014
Here´s the post-birthday outfit I wore last year. It´s a white lace skirt worn with a pink knitted top and a brown bolero. It´s not obvious that I love boleros, no?

As you can see, it´s in the same tiny potluck room!

Below is our post-birthday outfits in May 2013.

Ana and I in May 2013.

HaH! Writing this post actually made me realize that in such a short span of time, I´ve grown three years older. Oh my! I still feel like I´m 25. Can you guess my age now?

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Family Friend´s Birthday Party

Last Saturday night hubby and I attended a family friend´s 60th birthday party. It was a big one, with eighty attendees. It´s nice to get invited to parties at times and do dress up given that social life has been terribly on the down side for me since I moved to Germany in 2011. For once, after four years of living here, I got to dress up for a "wear a formal attire" party. Yay!

The birthday boy is Hermann, he´s the smiling handsome guy in the background, center. He has a very jolly personality, someone who´s always happy. You can guess, he really enjoyed his party, towards the end, he ruled the dance floor.

Because most of the people in our table are my first-time acquaintance, with an elder German guy on my left who, although nice and polite was mostly quiet, I ended up laughing all night to my husband´s jokes. It´s at times like this when I realize how much I adore his funny side; he could literally entertain me whole night.

I wore a really cute get-up, a dirty white tube mini dress with 3D floral appliques and black bow belt, topped with a black blazer and polished up with nude opaque tights and nude/metallic pointed toe pumps.

Unfortunately, I did not have a full-body shot of my look so I could not share it to you in this post. Hubby and I got a standing pose by a party´s photographer, but I haven´t got a copy of the shot yet.

Anyways, it´s nice to chat with you once again, darlings … it´s had been a while. I got lots of personal chi-chat to share with you, and I couldn´t wait, but finding the time is the problem. I hope to blog more often here on my personal blog once again … ´till next time.

Have a blessed weekend.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Ever-Expanding Closet Brings Me A Sense of Gratitude

For most us, on days when we feel low, whether it´s the hormones or some external factors, we tend to find solace on sweets and chocolates. I sometimes do that too. My fave are snickers and vanilla ice-cream. But there are times when I feel really down, like I doubt myself or the future, I find solace in my closet. You see, it´s just not like any blogger´s closet with stash of shoes and piles of clothes, it´s a reminder to me of how far I´ve journeyed in life.

photo credit: yuiko
I wasn´t born with a silver plate. In fact, when I was born my parents hardly had plates. They were really poor. Both hard-working, my parents managed to improve their economic status but not enough to provide a comfortable life to their expanding family of six kids.

I being the eldest, I learned early that I had to help my parents. I took care of my younger siblings while my parents worked. I did the cooking, baby sitting, and the piles of laundry until I graduated high school. And because we were economically challenged, I had to work my butt to the university to earn and keep a scholarship until I completed a double-degree in Education.

I always had to work hard and my aim was the top. But I was also always an underdog. In high school I was usually a target of bullying because I had little clothes and couldn´t keep up with the trend. In college, while my fashion improved thanks to the stipend allowance I received from my scholarship, I was looked down by the rich (or feeling rich) girls and boys in my circle whether it´s in the student body, in the debate club, or in the organizations I was involved.  Yet I persevered, nothing could bring me down. And somewhere, sometime I´d impress them with my achievements and guts.

When I finished university I quickly got a job. I gave most of my salaries to my parents to help out with the expenses and my siblings´school fees. But I wasn´t earning enough. So at the age of 22, I left the Philippines to work abroad. Fate brought me to Thailand where I worked as a high Maths teacher and a debate trainer in an international school.

I worked really hard. I did after-school tutorials and juggled blogging late at night. I raised enough money to support three siblings in the university. They too worked hard, graduated on time and got hired quickly after they graduated. So now my siblings are also able to help my parents out. Four of us are now professionals and working, our fifth sibling is graduating this March, and our youngest sister is still sophomore in the University.

From Bangkok I moved to Germany in 2011 to join my husband. And since then I´ve retired from teaching and did fashion blogging full-time. I feel like I can get away with a large closet due to my current career.

Of course I don´t put all my money in my closet. I´m smart enough to know the importance of saving. But I´m lucky to have a husband who spoils me, and a work that allows me to shop productively.

And that´s why when I look at my closet, I Have so much gratitude. It serves like a mirror, I see that fashion-deprived teenager who got bullied by the mean girls and wasn´t attractive to the boys because of her not impressive clothes and not of-the-moment style. When I stand in front of my closet, I see her. And I smile.

I know that my closet is nothing compared to other fashion bloggers, but for me it´s enough to thanks God and to feel very blessed.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Party At a Bayern Country-Side Restaurant

We kick-start the holiday parties by attending hubby´s work Christmas party which was held at a newly established Bayern country restaurant here in our city in Petersberg. Hubby works in an engineering firm which creates construction plans and drawings of buildings and houses. And this new restaurant is one of their recent projects. He proudly whispered on my ears during the party, "I helped with the construction drawing of this building too." :)

When you look from the outside the restaurant is just like any typical countryside restu, made of woods and laid low. When you enter inside, it´s decorated with horns, paintings of wild animals, and just an entire picture of Bayern culture. Note that our city isn´t in Bayern, we´re a neighboring State.

They also have an attic inside the restu with old country clothes hanging out. It makes you think if some Bayernisch actually live in there.

Their servers, chefs, and restaurant crews all wear the Bayern cultural outfits. Local music was played out quite loud and many diners sang with the beat. Some men even made weird sounds which I took as a background to their music. There´s a festive ambiance in the air which jibed with the crowded place.

They serve mostly pork but thanks to my hubby´s co-worker who tipped the restaurant in advance to serve beef because I don´t eat pork, they prepared a special beef menu for hubby and me. It´s delicious, super yummy! I especially love the potato, the macaroni salad, and the antipasti. Their potato is the best I´ve ever tried here in Germany.

I tried their local beer, it tasted like grape juice. I didn´t notice a hint of alcohol at all.
Every year-end hubby´s boss throws two Christmas parties for them, one with the spouses included and the other an exclusive party only for them. Honestly, I always look forward to their parties because I get to discover more restaurants in our city.

But don´t get tricked with the restaurant´s laid back ambiance. At the left of the restu there´s a door that leads to the luxurious side of the place. The other side boosts a large swimming pool and a paradise-like spa area. They also have enticing sauna baths.

While I didn´t get to the luxury side, hubby promised to bring me back there in summer. It´s something to look forward past winter.

Friday, December 6, 2013

On-Trend Prom Dresses to Wear to Your Prom

I´m already thirty but I still giggle whenever I talk about prom dresses. If you saw me wearing the designer Clarisse Prom Dress, you´d understand the reason behind my unfading excitement towards the subject. Yes, I´ve never worn a prom dress to a prom because my parents never allowed me to attend not one fancy party due to religious reasons, but that doesn´t mean I never wished to actually attend a homecoming and wear a stunning gown.

But history-aside, I´m always on the look-out for on-trend party dresses that you can wear to your prom, to holiday parties, or even to your wedding.  Being a fashion blogger is such a great excuse! If you´re like me who loves planning an outfit based on what´s trending, then you must take a look at these prom dresses.

Floor Length Ruching Evening Dress

Remember the stunning bespoke lilac gown with a white waistband, a floor-length Alexander McQueen number, that Kate Middleton wore to the red carpet at the BAFTA black tie do in Los Angeles? Everyone was gushing about it for quite a while. This chiffon dress has exactly same silhouette as Kate´s dress. Their only difference other than the color is the bodice. While Kate´s lilac gown had a rather conservative top, this pearl pink alternative has a V-neck and a wrap-around ruching.

Floor-length Prom Dresses are a great option if you´re into keeping things feminine and elegant.

Trumpet Shape

Fishtail and trumpet skirts are a big trend come spring/summer 2013. Ralph Lauren, Fendi, and Balmain are just some of the many fashion designers who showcased at the runway how to fabulously wear the fit and flare, trumpet silhouettes.

But before you jump-start shopping for your mermaid dress, there are a couple of questions that you have to ask yourself. Do you have a derriere that you´re confident to show off? Are you still able to walk like a person if everyone is looking at your rear? If you answer "yes" to both questions, then go ahead and embrace this trendy style. You´ll look as adorable as a real mermaid.

The Cutaways

Cutout trend still hasn´t lost its allure. In choosing for a prom dress with cutout detail, look for the styles that create drama at the back. It may look covered in front but then the back screams party. If, however, you´re not confident showing off most part of your back, then look for a party dress with cutouts on the sides or at the belt area of the bodice.

Remember that your prom is more about having fun than looking fabulous. So make sure that you opt for a trendy dress that makes you confident to move. The style should never sacrifice the fun of your party. After all, proms happen only once in life.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

It´s Gonna be A Quiet Christmas for Us, Our Oma Passed Away Last Week

Sometimes, death knocks at the door when you don´t expect it. We didn´t think that Oma would leave so soon. We knew that she was sick, a cancerous tumor was discovered in her intestine late last year and was removed, but we didn´t expect the cancer to win within just a year.

Oma, my MIL, and I in November 2011 on Oma´s 90th birthday party. I´ve just moved to Germany during this time.

Her health started to deteriorate early this month, and it didn´t stop. We thought she would still make it until next year but we were wrong. Last Thursday I went to check her in her room and to turn on the lights because my mother-in-law was at work. I noticed that her arms were blue and purple and it made me very worried. Her breathing was also labored. I asked her if she´s okay, she slightly opened her eyes but couldn´t talk anymore. I made her drink some water because she seemed thirsty, then I held her hand. She squeezed it.

I went back to our apartment which her just opposite hers, so she could sleep. Then in the evening while I was playing with my cat, MIL rang our phone and told us to come over because Oma seemed going. Hubby wasn´t believing but we hurried anyway. And then in a matter of ten minutes, Oma left. It was like a shock. She was having her dinner, my MIL was feeding her, when she started to look like catching her breath. She didn´t get to finish dinner, she left.

We had her burial yesterday but until now, it still seems like she´s around, sitting in her bed watching TV. It´s just so sad.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thailand Vacation II: Meeting Up With My Close Thai Friend After Two Years

I´ve always been meaning to tell the story of our summer vacation in Thailand this year but there are too many disruptions, this happens when you´re juggling five professional blogs (this personal blog isn´t even counted). Thus my desire to girl talk about that hilarious vacay is always put to the back burner.

I did give an overall summary of it at the blogazine - I´m Back from Vacation! All About My Three Weeks Getaway in Thailand - but a single post couldn´t cover everything, so I decided to share it piece by piece over here.

Thailand Vacation I: Blue Turtleneck and Python Print Tiered Skirt for Meeting Up with Friends

Annie and I in February 2011 after our Deutsch class.
While in Bangkok I managed to meet up with my friend, Annie. She´s half Thai and half Chinese but because she grew up in Thailand, she couldn´t speak any Chinese language anymore. We met up in a German Language class early in 2011. I was prepping to take the Deutsch A1 test for my Family Reunion visa to Germany (so I could be with my husband) during that time. We enrolled for the same beginning class.

I was the only Flipino in the class, everyone was Thai. Everyone was also professional. I wasn´t comfortable with my classmates, I found most of them trying to forge a statement about themselves proving that they´re smart because they could quickly pick up the language. I don´t like show off people. Also, I wasn´t in the class to act smart, I was there to have an introduction to the language and develop my skill as quickly as possible. I was a workaholic high school teacher who juggled full-time teaching job, debate training, private tutorials, and blogging. On top of that, I had to learn Deutsch quick, pass the test, and get a German visa by middle of that year.

Still Annie and I in 2011. She worked as a promo girl for a brand underwear. I waited until she´s done with her job so we could dine out.
I remember Annie coming late on the first day of the class and she sat beside me. I had a positive impression of her, she looked friendly to me. And then she speaks English! I was meant to find a friend, and a good friend at that.

However, I found our Deutsch class slow. There were twenty five students in the class and the teacher had to make sure everyone picks up the topic before she moves on to the next. I didn´t have the luxury of time so I decided to discontinue after the first course and do the remaining three courses on my own. And for the record, I learned the language intensively for two weeks using a book reviewer, CDs, and google translate. Soon after I took the A1 German language test and pass it with 85% rating. My classmates were still continuing impressing each other in the classroom for the next one year.

Annie and I at Siam Paragon, Bangkok, in September 2013.
Annie became very busy with her jobs too (as she herself is a workaholic who spends her weekend holidays doing part-time jobs) that she had to quit the German school. But in spite of our business, we found time to meet up. We loved going shopping together and dining out. We developed a really close friendship for such a short time. We met in January of 2011, I left Bangkok for Germany in August that same year.

I was trying to look for the boutiques where I used to shop in Siam Paragon but Annie explained that the mall had an intensive remodelling so a lot has changed.
 But thanks to Facebook, we still get to catch up with each other online. So when we had the chance to visit Thailand exactly after two years, I couldn´t wait to see Annie. Despite our very busy itinerary, I and hubby really made room for meeting up with her.

It was so much fun catching up in person. I´m glad hubby was so understanding, he just followed us around while we talked and talked.

She´s still the same workaholic girl, in fact she worked so much that she lost a lot of weight. I teased her that she wants to get rich too soon. She´s a traveller too. Within the two-year span, she´s visited three countries in the West in three different trips. Really cool.

We wrapped up our date with a dinner at a Japanese restaurant of which the food I enjoyed immensely.

Thanks to her I and hubby also got some cute, adorable photos together. Hubby likes Annie´s personality too. He thought of actually playing cupid for Annie and his close German buddy back home. Annie is still single and she´s hoping to find her dream guy soon whom she could travel together. She tells me how envious she´s of me that I get to travel around with my man. I really hope she finds the perfect guy for her soon.

And then it was time for us to say good bye. We´re flying back to Germany in two days. We had a really great time with Annie.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Feeling Creative with My Fruit Dessert

Avoid fruits and nuts. You are what you eat. ~ Jim Davis

I was reading an article today about "How to Live to 100" and I learned that adding more fruits and vegetables to our diet can actually improve our lung function. Moreover, if we convert to vegan diet and steer clear from meat including eggs and dairy products entirely, our body is able to beat cancer cells better and it keeps us from high blood pressure which we earn from high cholesterol foods. This information led me to dig for some fruits to complete our dinner this evening which consisted of crunchy fried fish.

But I can never be a vegan. I love fish and can never give it up. Also, I love mixing meat with vegetables. I was raised in a household that consumes lots of vegetables and it was my dad´s goal to always feed us healthily. And while I appreciate it and agree with it, I just think that going entirely vegan is boring.

Anyway, while prepping the fruits for dinner this evening, I felt like playing creative. I know that your appetite improves if the food is presented well. I am sold to the idea that we should treat ourselves to little pampering even on very normal days.

Unfortunately, I´m not naturally creative when it comes to food presentation. When hubby guessed what I was about to do, he teased me. I know that what I put on the table isn´t mega creative but I´m taking baby steps here. I enjoyed doing it and we enjoyed the fruits too.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Early Winter Blues: I Almost Said Good Bye

photo credit
In two days my blog´s auction will conclude. I will no longer own my flagship site, Creative Fashion, should a bidder surpasses the reserve price. This realization hit me big today and I succumbed to tears. It hurts so much to think that someone will take over my kingdom soon.

"Huh? Blog auction? What is it?", you may think.

Well, blog auction is just like any auction, potential buyers engage in a bidding war and the winner gets to buy the site.

"Why are you selling your fashion blog?", you may think again.

Haa! It wasn´t an easy decision, to say the least. I carefully thought about it for a hundred times, brought it to prayer over and over again, and even after I had it listed for auction, I was still playing cha-cha within myself - should I sell my fashion blog or not?

Since early this year I noticed that my passion for blogging about fashion has decreased a ton. I no longer have that fire and eagerness to blog which I always had for two years. I started seeing blogging like a chore, gone were the days when they say that if you love what you do, you no longer have to work a day. That´s because you don´t see yourself working, you´re having lots of fun.

I love my fashion blog so much, and I still love blogging. However, while it wasn´t clear at first, it dawned on me that I´ve reached the plateau, my blog has reached the plateau, and I´ve done everything I could ever do for my blog. Once you reach the top, there´s nowhere else to go but down. And so the past six months, I watch in pain the slow decrease of my blog in terms of alexa rank.

The traffic is still strong. I take pride of the site´s strong stable traffic and it has survived both the Google´s Panda and Penguin updates. But I got to admit in myself, I can no longer bring the site forward.

So I started blogging for the sake of maintaining the site, and as you can guess, it´s no longer fun.

Then I met Francine Rivers, a Christian novel author, through her book, Redeeming Love. A friend of mine who´s living in London was kind enough to send it to me.

Reading this book led me to self-evaluate. I love literature and it has always been my dream to write novels. Although I put off this dream after I discovered blogging, it was always there asking once in a while, "when will you pick me up?"

But more than just remembering my first love which is writing fiction, the story of the book pursuaded me to seek self revival.

You see, in the last 2.5 years I was too consumed with fashion. I spoke, thought, and wrote fashion almost every single day. And while I managed to create a quality blog which served as a resource for style savvy women - of which many readers have commended saying that my blog isn´t like any other vain blog - focussing too much on fashion drifted me far from my original purpose, which is to use my gifts for the glory of God.

At the back of Francine Rivers´s book, she said that she used to believe that the ultimate purpose of life is to pursue happiness. Now, she doesn´t believe it anymore. She believes that the ultimate purpose of life is to use our God given talents for His glory.

This made me ponder for quite a while, how could I use my talents for God? Have I glorified Him in my writings of fashion and trends? How did my fashion writing career impacted my spiritual life?

Well, if I´m to be honest, there are both goods and bads. The good is that no matter how novice I was in terms of fashion and style when I started, think fashion vocabs, I was able to establish myself as an authority in this overly populated niche in just a short time.

The negative side is that, no matter how hard I tried to deny it, I became a vain person in many ways. I dressed like a fashion blogger should dress. In less than two years since I arrived her in Germany with just a couple of suitcases, my closet expanded immensely. I consumed and consumed.

Did this make me happier? You may be surprised to hear this but the answer is "No." In fact, it was the reverse. Whenever I visited other fashion blogs to interact and leave a comment, I always feel envious. I think of how lucky is that girl, her shoe collection is bigger than mine. Oh, how lucky is that girl, she gets to wear designer clothes while two third of my closet is just high-street. Ahh, how much I covet that 3.1 Philip Lim satchel she´s carrying.

Materialism, when will you satisfy me?

And so on, and so on ... Until I woke up one day and realized, my journey in the fashion world is close to an end. But not entirely!

I believe that after years of blogging about fashion, five years in total, I can´t just turn my back and leave. It has become a big part of my life and so I´m not abandoning it entirely. I still enjoy talking about style but I want it to be more carefree, personal, and relax. I´m glad I have this blog. As you know, things started right here.

And as I take a few steps back, I´ll be settling here in my original blog where I have a smaller audience and I feel free to talk just about anything that interests me. I no longer have to give a damn about stats, who cares about my alexa rank and how many subcribers unsubscribed after I published that post. Didn´t they like my yesterday´s post? I´m just going to have fun.

I really hope that I can find the right buyer for my flagship fashion blog. I don´t want it to end up in ruins, I hope that whoever gets to take over will continue to bring it forward. It´s a great blog and it´s very dear to me.

As for my next move, I still have four blogs under my belt in different niches. I will continue to work on them until they´re ready to hit the market next year. After I´ve sold all my blogs and I´m exhausted, I will go back to creative writing and hopefully, I get to jumpstart my first Christian-inspired novel.

Francine Rivers inspired me a lot. I want to be like her.

Update: My blogazine wasn´t sold because I didn´t find the perfect buyer. There were two potential buyers both women, whom I liked but didn´t have sufficient funds. The men who had the funds, I couldn´t trust them enough to move the site forward. So I decided to keep the my flagship site and fight for it. Weird as it may seem, I felt relief and new passion was born.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Black and White Fall Outfits I and My Husband Wore to a Sabbath Fellowship

Once a year we get a fellowship here in our city. Fellowship means all Seventh Day Adventist churches in the area will spend the Sabbath together. Yesterday, we had the choir from Aufenbach perform in the service, it was great hearing wonderful religious songs in Deutsch.

Unfortunately, we had a very bad weather - cold, gloomy and rainy. How different from today´s sunny, relatively bright day. In order to dress the occasion and the weather, I and hubby went for black and white monochrome.

I layered my dotted black and white fit and flare dress with a white pullover and black tights, finished with black patent pumps. I added a black infinity scarf and then pulled everything together with a black double breasted coat.

Hubby, on the other hand, went for a white long sleeves shirt, black tie and black vest, black trousers and shoes, completed with a black long military coat.

I kind of don´t like my hair in this photo. It looks dry and without body. As you see, we´ve just arrived from the service when we took this photo, we had to walk under the rain to get into the parking lot, and I didn´t get good sleep from the previous night. Anyway, in spite of me not looking fresh, I wanted to share this look so I hope you don´t mind.

And of course, our family isn´t complete without our dear cat, Orange. He´s pre-occupied with his toy, the dried stems of tomatoes, that we couldn´t get to make him look at the camera. This is at mom-in-law´s living room. We came to pick up our cat which we left for her to babysit.

I hope your girls have a great weekend. Hugs from Germany.