November 16, 2011

Bella Italia

Back from Italy and already longing for it again.

We decided to have a delayed honeymoon - almost 8 months after we actually got married - because we were set on a roadtrip through the Northern part of Italy. September was the chosen month, as it was going to most likely give us the warm weather we were hoping for, but be at the tail-end of the peak tourist season. We made the right decision.

The sun was shining every single day of our trip and, while the cities were still swarming with tourists (Florence in particular), we knew it must've been far worse in July and August. Before going into more details on each individual place, here's a sneak peek of our "luna di miele". Enjoy!

May 5, 2011

Hit pause for a while

I need to hit the pause-button for a while. There is simply too much going on right now in my busy life. You would think that getting married results in spending more time with the new hubby, but quite the contrary has been happening. I barely have time for D. because I am too busy with work and managing the household. Subconsciously, knowing that he's around and that I'll see him during dinners and breakfasts and in between, there is less need to "schedule" together-time than there was before we got married and moved in together. I used to have time to go to pilates, where has that gone? I would sit in a coffeeshop on weekends, read a book or write... There seems to be so little time and yet so much to do these days. So it's time to take a break, step back and re-evaluate the situation and regain a healthy work-life balance. Do I work to live or live to work?

May 1, 2011

30 days of lists - Weekly rituals

I am a creature of habit. I disfunction in situation of disorder and chaos and thrive when life is at its most organize. I'm French-Filipina, but with a defined German obsession for structure, which, considering I joined the "30 days of lists"-challenge, shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. I don't respond too well to change in my daily life. Why fix something that isn't broken? Change is something I keep in my love for travel. That's where I can be more adventurous, more spontaneous, albeit in a structured way - all my trips are rather well planned I would say.

Going back to the list I am supposed to write today... Weekly rituals:
  • Prepare weekly menu
  • Do groceries based on above
  • Sunday lunch at the in-laws
  • Massage on Sunday afternoon
  • Call my parents afterwards
  • Updating household accountancy
  • Watch TV: I'm addicted to one or two series at a time and diligently watch them!
  • Manicure
  • Touch base with best friends
  • Check favorite blogs
This is what I can think of right now. For some reasons, all rituals that came to my mind were on a daily basis... I seem to be more OCD than I thought I was...

April 27, 2011

30 days of lists - Date night ideas

Today's list is about date ideas. One of the downfalls of living together, is that D. and I feel less pressured to go out on datenights. The danger of getting stuck in a daily rut is omnipresent and it takes a conscious effort to break out of it and enjoy each other as a couple.
  • Watch Kaos
  • Watch Cirque du Soleil
  • Have a drink at White Moon Bar
  • Take our puppy for a walk around Highstreet
  • Have coffee and people-watch
  • Brunch at Sala
  • Daytrip to Tagaytay w/ lunch at Antonio's
  • Staycation with self-imposed cellphone&laptop-ban
  • PS3 contest
  • Chill by the pool

April 26, 2011

30 days of lists - On my wishlist

On my wishlist... Wow. That's a long one. Before this challenge, I was already a "list-person" and actually have a little notebook in which I list down all the things I want to achieve in life. I've crossed out several already such as try out yoga and surfing, get married, climb the Eiffel Tower rather than taking the elevator...

But there's a plethora of other items I have yet to attempt/buy/see...

Here's a short selection:

  • Travel to:
GreeceSouth Africa or Kenya for a safari
Australia (to visit my friend C.)
Road trip from East to West Coast of the U.S.
  • Gadgets: Macbook Pro and iPhone 4 (or 5 as soon as gets out)
  • Our first home (doesn't matter if it's an apartment or a house as long as I can paint the walls, change the tiles and furnish it according to the hundreds of tearsheets I've collected!)
  • Our second home by the beach
  • Learn how to apply my make-up correctly (will finally need to check out my friend's vlog at MissBeauteousness)

Marc by Marc Jacobs Cafe - Milan

My last Milan trip ended with the realization that there seems to be an ever-increasing number of fashion designers that feel the urge to expand their brand beyond their core competence. Nowadays one can smell, eat, drink, and even dance to his/her favorite brand. Brands are extended to every aspect of lifestyle imaginable. So it comes to no surprise that, walking around Milan's fashion district, along famed Via Montenapoleone and its surrounding streets, I stumbled upon bars, cafés, restaurants, nightclub, bookstore baring the name of the likes of local fashion icons Dolce&Gabbana, Armani, Cavalli...

Off the beaten path, with fewer tourists stomping the cobblestone streets, in the trendy district of Brera, lies the Marc Jacobs boutique. The only designer concept store I was able to visit during my short stay in Italy. Brand diversification at its finest, it offers everything from ready-to-wear, keychains, iPhone cases, and other trinkets as well as accessories from Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Exhausted from roaming through all the pretty things that the store has to offer, you can relax and savour a cup of expresso at the bar/café located in the rear of the store. The entire concept is designed in true Marc Jacobs fashion, loud and bold.

While the commoner benefits from brand extension, as the once exclusive luxury is now made available to any wallet-size, the risk lies in the loss of exactly that: luxury. Luxury was once defined as something of quality yes, but moreover something that was made accessible to only a chosen few. Now, with a few dollars being able to access a bit of glitz and glamour, what happens to the once elusive, aspirational value of those luxury brands?
It's a balancing act and I'm curious to see which brands will succeed and which will fail. Marc by Marc Jacobs store seems to have found a winning formula. Not pretending to be anything that it's not, the store is approachable and laid-back — far from other pretentious concepts I happen to have caught a glimpse at — differentiating itself from its more glamourous counterpart Marc Jacobs.

Note: By the way, I am guilty as charged. I did succumb to the temptation and did end up buying a "I ♥ MJ" keychain, convincing myself that a) i was in dire need of an overpriced memory stick cleverly hidden within a heart-shaped keychain and b) this particular keychain and I were meant to be as it spelled out my initials and thus was too good to resist.

April 25, 2011

April 24, 2011

Obsession du Jour - Cage lamps

Not quite sure where, how and when I can incorporate those in my yet-to-be-found dreamhome, but I'm quite intrigued by the idea of those cage lamps...


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