Five things to start the year — and your life — on track

Suddenly, we’re on the 12th day of the New Year.

If you are reading this — and you have managed not to go crazy, maim yourself, work yourself to death, get defeated by the monsters that live inside your head, continue to be friends with a select but awesome group of people — and basically, continue to be an over-all amazing human being into the new year…

…Congratulations. You made it. We made it.

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Affirmations for 2019

I finally got around to fixing this blog, paying my domain and writing again.

In 2018, I managed to continue disappointing myself on how I didn’t have time for this site – the only place in the world where I can literally be myself and not scare people away.

If you’re still out there, reading this — thank you for sticking around. I tried doing the normal “blogger routine” (you know, spend 25,000 hours attending events, writing about everything in general), but I guess that life is not for me. So, we’re now back to our roots – writing about stuff I really care about. I really don’t know if I will ever try vlogging because being in front of camera scares me and I get too conscious about the little things. But, we’ll see…

Trust me, I have been adulting for the last 15 years of my life and it still doesn’t work for me. It’s confusing and scary and now that I am almost reaching middle age – I’ve become more aware about how I am close to consuming half my time on earth.

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So what’s your plan for 2019? 

Mine is to become more self-aware and to love myself more. I vowed to start caring about myself: take care of my health, try to lose weight (for my health and sanity’s sake), be more financially responsible and to love and nurture myself. So while I am in the process of rebuilding myself, I thought that my first post is to share the five things I am doing this year that will contribute to my goal of being a better version of myself in 2019.

Guide 1: Unplug and read books. I’m currently reading “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” by Mark Manson and I’m loving it.

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“The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck” basically tells us that we give too much f*cks, and we worry about too many things — much to the detriment of our mental health. It’s a nice and easy read, and a lot of the things written make a lot of sense to me. I have yet to finish it, but I am sharing with you some of my favorite lines already:

“Not giving a f*ck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different…”

“To not give a f*ck is to stare down life’s most terrifying and difficult challenges and still take action” 

“Pick and choose what matters to you…”

“The willingness to stare failure in the face and shove your middle finger back at it…”

It just makes a lot of sense to me — I am not ashamed to admit that my mental health took a beating in 2018. Because of too much stress at work, at home and in life in general, my nervous anxiety got worse, I am always stressed and physically sick, and even came to a point that I developed depression due to things piling one of top of the other. I am lucky that I can freely talk to my husband or my sister or my friends when I am in a rut and in a dark place — and that alone saved me last year.

I am excited to finish the book and I hope you’ll also find time to read.

 

Guide 2: Rediscover what makes you happy. Restart your hobbies. In my case, that’s lettering and calligraphy.

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I’ve always loved hand lettering, calligraphy and basically, everything that is related to this art. Unfortunately, it also got pushed to the side when I became busy with work. I am really rusty nowadays so I practice by writing verses on my journals. When I am working on a quote/hand lettering, I don’t think about the scripts and reports waiting for me at the office. I just think about making the letters come together and coming up with something beautiful to look at. It relaxes me a lot and I find it therapeutic.

Some might say that they do not have the knack for art. But you know, practice makes perfect. if you have extra budget, you can enroll in one of the many lettering classes in the Metro. The point is, never miss the chance to exercise your creativity.

 

Guide 3: Find your passion. Stick to it. My passion is writing and creating content, either through this blog or through my journals. I have been collecting and writing in journals since I was in primary and now that I am old, I still look forward to the start of the new year just because it also meant new notebooks and new planners for me.

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2019 Journals (still missing CBTL)

I am currently maintaining three journals, with another one coming in next week for my work tasks and schedule. To some, it may be a lot for that’s something that has been working for me for a long time already. I am using the Starbucks planner for #goalsetting and #dreamjournaling; while the pink 100 Bucket List is for my creative prompts. I have been planning to buy my own Hobonichi Techo Cousins, but the steep price tag turned me off.

 

Guide 4: Start saving early. Build your financial nest egg. If I am being blunt, please do not be like me. Brush up on investments, apply for a savings account and be more financially aware.

Here’s a true story: I started becoming more aware about money, investment and the important of having enough about 4 to 5 years ago. I spent most of my 20s hanging out in bars, and spending like crazy. When I turned 30 and life became more and more complicated, I kinda regretted the times when I should have saved my money. If I have started investing early, I would be reaping the rewards of these investments by now. But as they say, you learn along the way. So now, I spend my money on insurance payments, condo payments and building a deposit nest egg which I can use for emergency.

I am still looking for the best saving strategy because I suck at saving. I maintain a savings and checking account for one bank, but having all three of them registered in the mobile app also made it easy for me to transfer funds and withdraw money also as needed.

Guide 5.  Learn to edit your life. The same way that editing makes a lot of written and creative content look much, much better – it’s only fair that we also apply this in real life. Buy clothes that really look good on you, and not just because it’s on sale. Don’t be afraid to unfriend people on Facebook and in real life if they just contribute to the toxic environment. Commit to improve yourself this year by learning new things. Restart your relationship with God — regardless of your religious affiliation. In my case, I learned that believing in the love and generosity of a Higher Power provided me with an anchor and hope that life on earth doesn’t suck so much.

Closing this post with some of the best moments of 2018. In spite the challenges, pain and trying times last year – I am glad that I survived it to welcome 2019 with a more hopeful and positive disposition. I hope it will be the same for you.

best nine 2018

 

 

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A Fun & Easy Traipse through Yehliu, Jiufen and Shifen with KKday

I’m a proud “DIY-girl” whenever I travel and I revel in finding budget travel hacks whenever I can. I would revel in discovering far-away places and meeting new people on my own. I would work on spreadsheets, go on a mad research spree and serve as the lead in most of my travels. It’s fun – but you know, it can get tiring.

Doing all these and being responsible for the rest of the trip can be exhausting and sometimes, all I wanted to do is just sit down and rest – and let someone take the lead.

That’s why it was a nice surprise to get to have a full day tour of three of Taiwan’s biggest draws courtesy of KKday, a fast-growing travel activities platform. Offering numerous and unique travel activities and tours from a number of amazing tourist destinations like Taiwan, Japan, Korea, HongKong, Sydney, Melbourne to as far as  New York and Paris.

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I can even book a tour using my mobile phone – it’s that easy

Using KKday is easy as sign up is painless – you can actually use your Facebook account to sign in and from there, you just book your attraction and tour of choice.

I was travelling with a group of Taipei first-timers, so it’s good to cover the basics first with a day-tour of Taipeui:  Yehliu, Jiufen and Shifen. Out of the three, I have been to Yehliu and Jiufen during my first two trips to Taipei. I was able to find these places by sheer chutzpah: armed with a print out from an obscure reference and the determination to keep my eyes peeled as the Taipei bus hurtled towards the sleepy New Taipei county neighbourhoods.

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You can even download the KKday app to make it a whole lot easier!

This time, thanks to KKday, I managed to enjoy the trip from Taipei going towards the county – I slept and basically just chilled, and let our capable and gregarious tour guide Bobo explain the charm of these places.

YEHLIU Geo Park – Our first destination is Yehliu Geo Park, a sizable park right beside the Oceanside showcasing various rock formations that date back to the prehistoric era. Yehliu is one of my favourite places in Taiwan, simply because walking through it reminded me of foreign terrain from another planet, probably like Mars due to the deep red clay/soil prevalent in the area.

NOTE: The photos above were taken during my first trip to Yehliu. I just want to show you how it looks like. I was not able to take really good photos during this tour because of the rain.

The rock formations are a sight to behold: taking the shape of mushrooms, slippers and many others, but the most famous one is the Queen’s Head. Scattered along the area are also some fossils embedded deep in the soil and a viewing deck to better appreciate the place.

Unfortunately, it started raining really hard as soon as we alighted from our Poli Bus (the KKday bus decorated with a police car cartoon), and I had to buy a raincoat to shield my stuff from the rain. The rain ruined any remote possibility of us taking our photos along the other rock formations because it made the soil slippery. We just beelined it to the Queen’s Head, took the requisite photo and left.

(NOTE: Better to take your photo with the Queen’s Head since the constant wear and tear of the seasons has made its neck more fragile.)

 SHIFEN Sky Lantern – It must be magical being there when the quaint little town of Shifen celebrates its Sky Lantern Festival – imagine hundreds of lighted lanterns floating around the night skin, sending your wishes to the sky. Yes, it does give off major “Tangled” vibes.

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Forty five minutes from Yehliu is the small town of Shifen, nestled between the mountains and the train tracks. As mentioned earlier, Shifen’s most famous draw is the releasing of the Sky Lantern set amidst the middle of the train tracks.l For only TWD190, you will be given the  chance of writing your “Love, Career and Money wishes on colourful lanterns and set them out to the sky.

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We were drenched but very happy. Photo courtesy of my amazing friend, Allan of The Filipino Rambler 

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When you’re done releasing your wishes via the sky lantern, you can partake on the many delectable dishes that Shifen has to offer. You can also take the opportunity to get a glimpse of the train passing through Shifen’s narrow street (just be careful taking a photo!). You’ll see how time stops until the train has fully passed.

 

JIUFEN’S Winding Streets and Magical Tea Houses – I have written in one of my blog posts about the oft-quoted travel legend that many of Jiufen’s many winding streets, storefront houses and the famous Amei Tea House was the inspiration behind the magical world of Chihiro, Sen and Yubaba in Hayao Miyazaki’s well-loved animated film, “Spirited Away.” My love of Miyazaki and the film prompted me to search for Jiufen, on my own, more than three years ago – and now, going back, minus the hassle of the search (and worry of getting lost) made me fell in love with this maze of a town. Thanks to KKday, I was able to just appreciate the journey, take my time, focus on the sights, and marvel on the many overt similarities between the Yubaba’s spirit world and Jiufen.

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The town, with its many winding staircases, is a maze and the search for Amei’s tea house can be ardous if you won’t ask for directions. But once you finally get to find it, it’s worth the trek and the many missed turns.

 Taking a tour via KKday:

Tours via KKday begins at the Taipei Main Station. In our case, it’s at the East Gate where you will meet with the KKday coordinators in order to present a print out of your confirmation slip. After the coordinators have gone through the attendance, checked, and ensured that everyone on the list is present, you will be herded to the waiting KKday bus.

At the bus, your tour guide will brief you on your destination, give you your KKday identification pass (also doubling as a mosquito patch) and a bottle of mineral water. Do note that the cost of entrance fee for Yehliu Geo Park, the cost of the sky lantern activity and of course, your meal and drinks are not included in the tour fee. Price of this tour is just PHP1,174 so it’s really worth it.

Would I recommend KKday?

Absolutely. While I am still a fan of DIY travel and enjoys researching for destinations, I appreciate how KKday made travelling easy, more convenient and more enjoyable – thanks to a knowledgeable tour guide and a very efficient staff. I hope to be able to use KKday again when I go back to Japan.

Visit KKday at their website, or download the KKday app available for easier, more convenient booking,

I stayed in Homey Hostel while in Taipei – and it ticked off all my hostel must-haves

In the last five years, I have been travelling more and more frequently – often times, going out the country two times a year – depending on the funds available, or the level of stress and misery that I am in.

For 2018 alone, I went to Japan twice, starting the year in Nagoya and Sapporo; celebrated my mom’s birthday in Tokyo last October; before finally ending the frenzied jaunt across the ocean in Taipei, Taiwan in mid-November.

One of the things I learned during all my budget trips is that it’s not necessary to stay in hotels. Of course, if you have the money to burn and living in a lap of luxury is more of your thing – by all means, enjoy.

But if you are a budget traveler like me, staying in hostels is a sure fire way of landing prime accommodation, while meeting fellow travelers on the road and with more bang for your buck. So far, I never had any disappointments at all – with most hitting the mark (especially the hostels in Japan which sets the bar really high) and yes, even the one in Singapore who almost wowed me but missed the mark on cleanliness.

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That is why I am pleasantly surprised to know about Homey Hostel, a hostel that lives up to its name with its homey, cozy, chill vibe yet over delivers when it comes to function, service and style. Located in a busy neighborhood two blocks away from Taipei Main Station, this charming budget accommodation ticks a lot of my must-haves when it comes to slumming it out on a budget:

 Location, Location, Location – this should be a cardinal rule. Even if you have the most charming, most Instagrammable place in the world but if it’s far from where the action is, or the transportation source, then you are wasting time and money. Homey Hostel is about a ten minute walk to the Taipei Main Station and the Taipei Bus Station. You are centrally located, with many places in Taiwan only a bus or train ride away.

There’s also plenty of food options: fast food favorites like KFC and McDonald’s (open 24 hours), a 7-11, a mom and pop stores selling dumplings, sticky noodles and stinky tofu and a milk tea shop. So you will not be starved. You get a taste of your burgers and still have a chance of sampling local cuisine – so it’s a definite win-win

 

Cozy and comfortable sleeping spaces – Given that you will be tired and spent the whole day, you should be comfortable and safe where you sleep. Our dorm room had four bunk beds, plenty of room to man oeuvre, plenty of sunlight plus a locker room where each traveler can safely store their valuables. In spite the fact that it’s a dorm room, and there are three other guys who’s not part of our group, we never felt uncomfortable at all. After all, we barely get to see our roommates, as we had different schedules and they’re often out of their beds by the time we wake up in the morning.

Each bed is equipped with its own night light, your very own charging station, a pillow, two sheets and a comforter plus its own curtain to give a semblance of privacy. If you’re a light sleeper, Homey has ear plugs available on the reception which you can take free of charge. Towels are for rent at TWD40 while hygiene kits are for sale.

 

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Amazing facilities: inviting and functional common areas + clean yet efficient communal bathrooms – This is where Homey hits the mark high for me. I am in love with their communal space – which housed the reception, a game area (a game of fooseball anyone?), a work area, a dining hall and the super efficient kitchen. This is something I haven’t even seen in Japan so I really love this space and regrets that I didn’t maximize hanging out here.

There are long wooden tables where you can eat together with other fellow travelers. Or if lounging, reading or hanging out is more your thing, Homey has designed numerous nooks where you can curl up with a good book, or play one of the many board games that’s also available within the area.

I am really particular with bathrooms so, it’s a nice surprise that Homey has those electronic toilets common in Japan. There’s never a wait in any of the shower rooms which was also shared coed. Shower cubicles were designed with its own mini “dry area” where you can store your clothes, towel and toiletries before stepping inside the shower area. Bathrooms are kept clean and while it can get busy, you will never have to line up should you need a quick bath or use the loo.

 

Fun and FREE activities – The availability of fun activities that will expose to the local culture, landscape and scene is something that is inherent with majority of hostels. In Japan, I enjoyed the takoyaki and film showing nights. Homey Hostel offers a range of activities every Friday, including walking tours. During our stay, we joined a trek up Elephant Mountain to take in Taipei’s sights at night. We were joined by guests from Europe, HK and China and it was a treat exchanging stories — and discovering common interests and passion. I had a nice chat about conquering the 47 prefectures of Japan with Andy, a guest from Germany.  Homey offers these activities for FREE and even taps the help of knowledgeable and efficient guides from various Taipei tour groups.

 

Intuitive Customer Service – personal, warm yet professional. The reception counter of Homey Hostel promptly closes around 10:30PM and opens around 8:30AM the next day for service. Given we arrived really late, 4AM, our key cards were left in the counter with our names and a note to just approach reception in the morning for check in. In the morning, the hostel serves a simple breakfast of bread, a choice of spreads (chocolate, coconut butter, garlic butter and peanut butter, coffee, tea, juices, hot congee and an array of side dishes).

The check in process is quick and efficient, and you will be asked to pay for your stay and a TWD100 deposit for the key card which is refundable, should you manage not to lose it. The reception also doubles as a small “business center” where you can arrange for tours, ask for directions, buy postcards and send them (I did) and even pay for the snacks and the craft beer that’s available in Homey.

The team, led by the affable Jeffrey, is young, charming and English-proficient, always ready to give directions and insider tips. In our case, it was recommended we take the express train going back to the airport, which saved us 30 minutes in travel time. Jeffrey, meanwhile, recommends that the next time we are in Taipei and arriving late, we take the Kuo Kang Bus No.1819 which runs late nights from Taipei Taoyuan Airport to the city.

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Would I recommend Homey Hostel for the Taipei-bound. Absolutely! My first two trips in Taipei, I kept raving about a hotel (that will remain unnamed) due to its top-notch service; now that I experienced Homey Hostel, I have found a better choice which offers the same level of service that I expect, coupled with a fun, laidback atmosphere and most of all, can’t beat prices. How low? You can get a bed for as low as TWD600 a night!

Book now at Homey Hostel – they’re responsive on Facebook! And don’t forget to check out their website!

 

 

 

Can’t stop Christmas with Shopee’s Big Christmas Sale

Christmas lights everywhere, check. Christmas carols, check. A mild, chill breeze, check. A Gift List that gets longer as the days get shorter, check.

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Yes – it is officially Christmas in the Philippines. And while I love the Spirit of the Season and the gift giving the goes with it – there’s one thing that I hated with a passion during this time of the year: shopping. 

I hated going to the malls and shopping during the Christmas season automatically turns me into the Grinch. Consider this ordeal: elbow to elbow with majority of the population, the long lines at the cashier, the ordeal of getting to the mall and trying to get home, an dealing with the traffic.

That’s why I am thankful that I get to discover online shopping – I loved the convenience of buying things for myself at the comfort of my own bedroom, and the wide payment options for my purchases. A lot of my purchases this year came from online shopping, including a last-minute purchase comprised of a children’s luggage, which I bought from Shopee, roughly a week before we leave for a family trip. I was apprehensive but–lo and behold — Shopee and the merchant came through and my niece has her Disney princess luggage.

That’s why I was elated to know that  Shopee will have an upcoming  upcoming Christmas sale, kicking off with the much-awaited “11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale,” coinciding with the introduction of their latest brand ambassador, Mr. Jose Mari Chan.

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JMC + SHOPEE = CHRISTMAS 

If you’re born and raised in the Philippines, you would know that highly-respected balladeer Mr. Jose Mari Chan is the official face (and sound) of Christmas for the locals. The Christmas celebration in the Philippines officially begins as soon as his well-loved song “Christmas in our Hearts” starts dominating in the airwaves – yes, even if it’s still October.  So, it’s really a genius move by Shopee to bring in JMC to usher in Christmas and their biggest Christmas sale this year.

Terence Pang, Chief Operating Officer at Shopee, said, “Christmas is the most celebrated holiday in the Philippines, and Filipino shoppers are known to start their holiday shopping earlier. In line with this, we are once again bringing back Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale, this time with an even bigger lineup of promotions. We are also honored to have Jose Mari Chan, a household name in the Philippines, join us as our first official Christmas ambassador. Jose Mari Chan embodies the Christmas spirit, and his positive and cheery personality reflects Shopee’s commitment to bringing more joy to shoppers this year-end season.”

“Christmas is a time for us to come together and celebrate. I am thrilled to be joining the Shopee family to spread cheer to all Filipinos this festive season, and to be part of Shopee’s first ever Christmas television commercial. I welcome everyone to join Shopee and I in kickstarting the Christmas season with Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale, and look forward to collaborating with Shopee to deliver a series of surprises this Christmas,” said Jose Mari Chan.

Shopee Head of Business Intelligence, Martin Yu with Jose Mari Chan
Shopee head of business intelligence Martin Yu and much-respected balladeer Jose Mari Chan

In line with the appointment of Jose Mari Chan as Shopee’s Christmas Ambassador is the launch of the Jose Mari Chan Road to Christmas campaign, which will take place from October 26 to December 12. With this, Jose Mari Chan fans can look forward to a series of exciting Shopee activations with him in the weeks ahead, including once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as the opportunity to sing a duet with him, receive a special dedicated song from him, or to meet and spend time with him on his Shopee Wish Bus tour.

The debut of Jose Mari Chan as Shopee’s Christmas ambassador marks the official start of Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale. The first wave of promotions started last October 26 leading up to the 11.11 Big Christmas Sale happening on 11 November. Users can look forward to discounts of up to 99% off all categories, daily free shipping promotions, and an upsized coins pool of over 11 million Shopee Coins to be won from Shopee Shake.

 

SHOPPING GALORE

To ensure that its clients will get the best deals leading to Christmas, Shopee sweetened the deal even further by partnering with leading local and international brands including Maybelline, P&G, Mossimo, Unilever, Wyeth, Platinum Karaoke, ASUS, and Unisilver Time, and many more; shoppers can also look forward to additional perks, presented in collaboration with Shopee’s exclusive 11.11 partners.

“With tons of unbeatable promotions and exciting features launched in response to users’ feedback and demands, Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale is a showcase of Shopee’s continued commitment to delivering the best online shopping experience to consumers in the region, especially during this festive holiday season. We invite everyone to shop together on Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale,” closed Pang.

 

COINS MADNESS 

Shopee is bringing back its iconic in-app game, Shopee Shake, this time with an upsized pool of over 11 million Shopee Coins up for grabs. As a special treat this Christmas season, users will also stand a chance to win surprise Shopee Shake prizes, including roundtrip tickets to Australia, Malaysia, and Japan sponsored by Cebu Pacific. Shopee Shake will be happening twice daily, and nine times on 11.11 Shopee Shake Day on November 3 and 11.11 Big Christmas Sale on November 11.

I would probably do the bulk of my Christmas shopping at Shopee, given that I really do not have the time nor the patience to go the malls. Am starting the shopping madness on the 11th, along with the bulk of the population who have no chill when it comes to the gift giving season.

 

For more information on the Shopee 11.11 – 12.12 Big Christmas Sale, visit https://shopee.ph/11-11

For more information on the upcoming activations with Jose Mari Chan, visit https://shopee.ph/m/jmc-road-to-christmas

Download the Shopee app for free on the App Store or Google Play Store.

 

Elements of Style – My Way.

I am at an age where I am expected to dress less like a Millennial on a soul-searching trip, and more like the #girlboss that I aspire to be.  You know the drill: the #TimelessStyle –  a solid and dependable little black dress, trusty black pumps, complementing blazer and a string of pearls around my neck.

Something along this line:

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And while I am in love with this ensemble — floral-patterned wrap dress that flatters the figure and hides the bumps, solid black pumps with good heels and layered pearl necklace — it also does not represent who I am or how uncomfortable I was. My feet were hurting the whole day  from wearing my trusty heels. That while I love this dress, it just doesn’t work for me every single time since working in PR meant being on the go most of the time.  That in as much as I loved how mature I looked and how on-point was my style – it just wasn’t me.

Style icon Audrey Hepburn once said:

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In the day and age of fashion influencers, of #OOTDs and power dressing — who makes the rules anyway on what is really trendy and fashionable? After all, the trends that everyone used to eschew back in the day is currently doing heavy rotation on the pages of fashion magazines: they say the 80s, 90s and heaven forbid, the 70s are back. As the seasons change along with the wants and obsessions of the people, who really has the last say?

At the end of the day, is it all about the timeless pieces or about the fashion statements? Do you opt to get the clothes where you can get the most mileage over the years through good old mix and match? Or would you rather have the stand out pieces that can turn heads and give you “feed goals?”

In my case – I tend to always choose the classic route; alternating between the laid back and the comfortable. Yes, I am the kind of woman who lived for comfortable jeans,  and comfy tops and long sleeves; who loves her brogues and oxfords over heels; who considers a well-made hat as a a fashion investment and whose love for a classic black satchel remains true.

In my case, I’ve subscribed faithfully to a few “timeless buys” as published at Who What Wear:

  • I tend to stick to dark colors which allowed me to mix and match my clothes; and style them no matter how I like – corporate with a bit of edge, laid back or comfy for quick trips and night outs. As you can see from the photo, most of my clothes are black; with a smattering of navy blue and gray. I’d like to invest more on white clothes but the care and maintenance is keeping me on the edge.
  • If you can, opt for quality pieces that lasts – I used to get a kick out of buying dirt cheap clothes, but learned my lesson when it gets frayed (or worse, torn due to wear and tear) in just a year. Case in point: I have this bootleg denim which I bought on sale at Mark’s & Spencer about four years ago. It’s still my go-to piece when I want to wear jeans but does not want to look “too laid back.” I always pair it out with my trusty ankle boots and my black knit sweater and I’m all set for corporate Fridays.
  • Even if you’re a “jeans and sneakers kind-a girl” (like me), invest in a good black dress. Karl Lagerfeld once said, “One is never over-dressed or underdressed with a little black dress” — but if I may boldly paraphrase Lola Karl, maybe don’t stop with that little black dress: buy a full-length cocktail number or a mid-length one. Own it. In my case, I have three black dresses which I can always count on for times when I need to dress up.
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killllllin’ it.
  • They say that the first thing that people notice about you is your shoes. So make sure you’re wearing something nice. It can be your 4-inch stilleto, kick-ass pumps, or the classic white and green Stan Smith. The bottom line is it should be clean and complimentary to what you wear
  • And lastly – and if I may so, always be yourself. Do not be afraid to dress comfortably and revel on who you are. If you are comfortable with the sweat pants and your beanie; or heck, even the pokemon lounge wear – wear it. Timeless dressing means being who you are – beyond trends, beyond brand names and beyond rules.

Investing in clothes also meant that you should be able to take care of them. Why? So that they will last longer and that you will get to wear and enjoy these key pieces for a few years.

In my case, I tend to be OC when it comes to taking care of my clothes:

  • I organize and store my clothes based on colors – the blacks have their own pile, along with the grays, blues and the few colored clothes I have.
  • Invest in quality hangers – I recommend buying wooden hangers with a sloped/curved ends, instead of the usual plastic ones with sharp ends. I learned this the hard way after I left one of my remaining white polo shirt on a plastic hanger.
  • Only keep in the closet the items you wear on a day-to-day basis. For seasonal clothes like sweaters, jackets and even swim wear, put them in plastic boxes and keep them in storage. This will lessen the number of items in your closet and will allow your pieces to breathe. Less stuff in the closet means there’s less stuff crammed inside; clothes do not get wrinkled or misshapen.
  • Store leather items (like belts, shoes and bags) inside cloth bags or dust bags to protect them from the elements.
  • Lastly and more importantly, keep them clean. Timeless pieces like a good cotton polo shirt, that little black dress or a nice pair of trousers served as good investments. While laundry shops are a dime-a-dozen nowadays, it’s still good measure to wash your own clothes.

Obviously, our busy, fast-paced lives meant doing the laundry should be easy, painless and effective as much as possible. Investing in timeless pieces also meant investing on how you care for the very items you wear.

As Rajo Laurel, one of the Philippines’ most prolific designers succinctly puts it:

 

Now, I know not all of us are a fan of washing clothes and ironing clothes (in my case, I’d rather spend the whole day  in the laundry than iron my clothes). Maybe, it helps if you are using a really good washing machine that can assure you that it will do the job efficiently and with the least possible hassle?

In my case, I am currently curious to try out (and maybe invest — *Christmas bonus goals*) on a good washing machine. Right now, I am really partial to Electrolux’ wide range of washing machines currently up for grabs with their ongoing Electrolux Amazing Holideals, with up to 25% in discounts and freebies.

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To learn more about #ElectroluxFashionCare Campaign, visit the Electrolux website at www.electrolux.com.ph or Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/electroluxphilippines/

 

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Some of the amazing deals up for grabs with Electrolux’ Amazing Holideals

Electrolux also has an ongoing #ElectroluxFashionCare campaign, which promotes taking care of your timeless pieces, while also getting to know some of the nifty machines that can get this done. To know more, visit the Electrolux website at www.electrolux.com.ph or at https://www.facebook.com/electroluxphilippines/

SM’s “The Tasting Corner” encourages you to go for “The Perfect Serve”

Everyone loves a good selection of wines and spirits in every party. In fact, an oft-quoted meme has turned into a nice reminder why the presence of alcohol often predicts a party is a success:

However, did you ever felt like serving spirits as is, straight from the bottle always seemed like a waste of perfectly-good alcohol? How do you even liven it up a bit?

SM’s “The Tasting Corner” came up with a solution that will excite enthusiasts

For a limited time only, buyers sample some of the most iconic premium wines and spirits in the world at the Tasting Corner in selected SM Markets.  This innovative new concept is the first of its kind, and a rare experiential opportunity for those who are curious about premium brands to sample these drinks in their “perfect serve”.

Knowing the perfect serve

The perfect serve is the way in which wines and spirits manufacturers recommend that their drinks be served.  Most perfect serves are surprisingly not common knowledge, and quite often they are not how everybody drinks it.

For instance, most Cognac aficionados would never think to mix Hennessy VS with ginger ale and a slice of lime, but that is exactly the way in which Hennessy recommends that Hennessy VS be enjoyed.

Everyone knows the proper lick, shoot, and suck routine for drinking room temperature Tequila, but Jose Cuervo actually recommends Tequila chilled to a precise temperature, and taken straight up.

Hardcore Scotch Whisky drinkers usually prefer their Scotch neat or on the rocks, Johnnie Walker actually recommends mixing Johnnie Walker black with ginger ale or cola.  And while wine connoisseurs everywhere will usually insist on room temperature serving for most if not all wine, Carlo Rossi and Los Cardos actually recommend that their wines be chilled.

The best thing is there is no need to try to imagine what that is like, these and other perfect serves are in store at the Tasting Corner, to sample for free.

Contrary to popular notion, knowing the best way to enjoy your alcohol doesn’t rely on tour alcohol tolerance and it also doesn’t make you an alcholic. Most likely, you will end up as the one who mixes the best drinks and knows all the “good stuff.” If this leads to more party invites and bonding with friends — congratulations, you now have a better social life than us.

Tasting Corner’s sampling activity is the brainchild of Mr. Antonio Villasenor,CEO of Blue Mountain, the exclusive distributor of wines and spirits in all SM Markets: “The main objective of the Tasting Corner is to give our valued customers a new shopping experience at SM Markets’ Wine & Liquor Section.We are giving them a unique opportunity to know top wine, liquor, and beer brands with the help of our Brand Ambassadors who will not just share their expertise but let them taste the liquor themselves; so they may compare and pick which brand suits them the most”.

Freebies and free samples at the Tasting Corner

The Tasting Corner is a Pop-up store that will appear in selected SM Supermarkets and Hypermarkets between August 16, and November 8.  Free samples of brands such as Johnnie Walker, Hennessy, Jose Cuervo, Fundador or Carlo Rossi, and Los Cardos will be available throughout the Tasting Corner’s limited run.

The Tasting Corner will also offer exclusive discounts/price offs, and lucky Tasting Corner customers can also walk away with premium branded giveaways such as overnight bags, flasks,glasses, pens, and many others.  Johnnie Walker fans will love the SM 60th anniversary commemorative bottles.

The complete schedule of the Tasting Corner is as follows: August 15 to 30 in SM Hypermarket Mall of Asial; August 17 to 30 in SM Supermarket The Podium, and SM Hypermarket North EDSA The Block; August 31 to September 13 in SM Supermarket Megamall B and SM Supermarket Makati.  September 14 to 27 in SM Supermarket Aura and SM Hypermarket Pasig; September 28 to October 11 in SM Supermarket Cebu; SM Supermarket Fairview, and SM Supermarket San Lazaro; October 12 to 24 in SM Supermarket Southmall and SM Hypermarket Clark; October 26 to November 8 in SM Supermarket Lanang Davao, and SM

Hassle-free OOTDs made possible by Shopee Fashion Week

Fashionistas are In for a treat, as Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, teams up with leading local fashion brands like Bench, Silverworks, CLN, Watch Republic, Banana Peel, Avel Designs, and Unisilver to kick off Shopee Fashion Week, happening 19 to 25 September 2018.

Score one of a kind apparel, shoes, and accessories at wallet-friendly prices, with as much as 95% off on choice merchandise.

To cater to the diverse fashion tastes of all Filipino shoppers, Shopee Fashion Week will contain six themed collections namely Fresh Finds, Sneakerfest, Aegyo! Korean Fashion, Denim + Leather, Holiday Glam, and Accessorize. Featuring unbelievable deals starting from ₱1.00, shoppers can save even more when purchasing their fashion essentials on Shopee. Shoppers can also look forward to the Everything Must Go flash sale on September 25, where the most in-demand fashion items will be available at unbeatable prices.

To officially mark Shopee Fashion Week, the eComm giant officially welcomed Bench, the Philippines’ top fashion brand to the Shopee Mall family.

Bench models Marco Gumabao and Max Collins with Bench general manager Jude Ong and Shopee Philippines director Jane Lim

To celebrate the opening, Bench will be offering 20% off storewide for fashion hunters to fill their wardrobes. Bench Apparel and Bench Body will also offer exclusive bundles for as low as ₱259.00 on a limited time only, so fans of the brand can usher in the festive year-end shopping period with Bench on Shopee. Lastly, the first 100 Bench shoppers will win a free cosmetics set and limited-edition postcards signed by celebrities Max Collins and Marco Gumabao.

Jane Lim, Director of Shopee Philippines, said, “Shopee is dedicated to bringing a customised shopping experience that caters to the unique tastes of our users. With dozens of the most beloved local fashion brands on board, Shopee Fashion Week aims to give users first-hand access to exclusive deals on a wide variety of clothes, shoes, and other fashion accessories. Together with themed collections and various other attractive promotions, we are confident shoppers can save even more on their favourite fashion products at Shopee Fashion Week.”

For more information about Shopee’s Fashion Week, visit: https://shopee.ph/m/fashion-week

For more information about Shopee, visit https://shopee.ph

Download the Shopee app for free on App Store or Google Play Store.

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