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...

April 23, 2011

30 days of lists - In my Bag

  • Keys with my Marc Jacobs USB keychain: the keychain is in shape of a heart and says I ♥ MJ i.e. I love myself. A mantra every girl should have!
  • Bath&Body Works Sweet Pea Hand Sanitizer spray: a must-have in this world of germs.
  • Macbook: one day in the not-so-far future it'll have the little "Pro" attached to it.
  • Macbook charger: well, because my Macbook needs one.
  • Muji pens in red and blue: outrageously overprice but so purty.
  • Moleskine planner: I went over and beyond to get this. Keeps my life organized.
  • iPhone: my multitasking wondertool.
  • Headphones: whenever I need to tune out the world.
  • VMV Lip Glitter Gloss in Bronzerella: for some quick, instant glam.
  • Emergency Kit: antihistamines, pain killers, lozenges, tampons, nailfile, bandaids... and other things I might need one day!
  • Checkbook: because I have to pay bills.
  • Hugo Boss wallet: a gift from my dad after he felt sorry when he saw my ratty cheap-o walle
  • Business card holder: because no matter the place or time, I'm always at work. At least my cards already reflect my new name.
  • Ray-Ban Wayfarers: today in brown. but on other days in red, blue or yellow.

April 22, 2011

Wisdom #6

via piccsy

Obsession du Jour - Bookshelves

I have three large boxes full of books waiting to be shipped to Manila, not to mention the buttload of reading materials I've been amassing in the past few years here...

I. WANT. my. library. NOW.

Is it obvious that I'm a bookworm?

April 21, 2011

Obsession du Jour - Frederiksberg Villa

I'm absolutely infatuated with this charming villa in Frederiksberg, Denmark. The kitchen and dining room are particularly gorgeous. I don't even know where to begin. To keep in line with my list-making challenge, here is why this interior design project has found its spot in my Obsession world:
  • Blackboard behind stove
  • Clean, crisp and white
  • Pale aqua that gives the place a beach-y feel
  • Glass hanging lamps
  • Modern-retro appliances
  • Louis ghost chairs paired with solid wood dining table

Check out more prettiness on kml design.

April 20, 2011

30 days of lists - Blog goals

Today is a piece of cake! ;-)

Blog goals:

  • Commit to write regularly
  • Move and inspire my readers
  • Write about stuff that matters to me
  • Find my niche
  • Enjoy and have fun with it!

Wisdom #5

April 19, 2011

30 days of lists - Least favorites words/phrases

I had to put in some more time and thoughts into today's list as compared to the ones I've jotted down in a jiffy so far. Least favorites words/phrases... (insert sounds of my brain working)...

I got it! Eureka! My least favorite words are not based on their meaning but on their pronunciation or spelling... Voilà:

  • Three: I'm still French after all and "th" is just impossible to pronounce!
  • Thais/Thighs/Ties: all ze same to me.
  • Salmon: So do you pronounce the "l" or don't you? I don't get it.
  • Wary/Worry: Sounds the same to me!
  • Definitely: I have spelling challenges here.
  • Awkward: here too. Thank God for spellcheck!

April 18, 2011

30 days of lists - Weekend goals

Hmm. It's Monday today, just another manic Monday.... Having to discuss my weekend goals undoubtedly generates a frown on my forehead. A nasty habit, I have been told, I should drop rather sooner than later if I wish to avoid permanent signs of aging. Working in the beauty industry clearly involves the development of a growing obsession with aging or the prevention of such.

But a commitment is a commitment, so here we go. This week is also not as loaded as it usually is, as the Easter Holidays are cutting short my typical toxic 70 hours work-week. My weekend goals therefore are:
  • Only work 2 hours a day
  • Sleep in
  • Read a book on the patio
  • Finally select pictures for wedding album
  • Finish blogposts that have been sitting in the draft folder
  • Bake brownies
  • Play with puppies
  • Make babies
  • Finish my quarterly report (sigh!)

Wisdom #4

April 17, 2011

30 days of lists - Today's Playlist

Today's playlist:
  • Closer to the Edge - 30 seconds to Mars
  • Run - Techy Romantics
  • Blow - Ke$ha
  • Say (à l'infini) - One Republic feat. Sheryfa Luna
  • Fucking Perfect - Pink
  • Sing - My Chemical Romance
  • Kings and Queens - 30 seconds to Mars
  • Animal - Neon Trees
  • Use Somebody - Kings of Leon
  • Fireworks - Katy Perry

Obsession du Jour - Lamarthe Clutch

J'adore the Lamarthe pochette/cabas. I have this versatile, soft veal-leather clutch in a stylish petroleum color that goes well with casual chic as well as more dressy outfits. And obviously, since it was a birthday gift from my dad, it holds a special place in my heart.

April 16, 2011

30 days of lists - I'm looking forward to

I'm enjoying the 30 days of lists experiment so far. It has enabled me to take a couple of minutes to reflect on a topic and quickly jot down my thoughts on it. It's redirects my thoughts from store operations issues, business development opportunities and pricing negotiations to more banal yet very eye-opening topics for a brief moment in a day. I'm seriously thinking to ask D. to take on the challenge. He usually laughs at my antics and will most likely label me as weird (oh I know my hubby too well!), but I think it'll be a good exercise for him. Men need to get in touch with their inner self more often.

Today's list is about things I look forward to:
  • our honeymoon in Europe
  • designing our own home (well... finding a home first actually!)
  • being pregnant
  • watching Cirque du Soleil
  • launching VMV in Italy
  • writing on a regular basis
  • replacing my Macbook with the new Macbook Pro
  • Fast & Furious 4 and Kung Fu Panda 2
  • long weekends
  • salary increase

April 15, 2011

Warm whites

In line with my recent nesting behavior and obsession for anything interior design-related, here's a trend I've been looooving: white. Already incorporated in my wardrobe, it also does wonders for home spaces. The interesting part of this is that the use of the color white (or should I say lack of color) is utilized in such a way that it still manages to induce warmth and coziness into the room. After all, who really wants their living room or bedroom to be cool, cold and industrial? Yes fine, it works for kitchens and bathrooms maybe, but your sanctuary should feel comforting, homey and calming. Too bad all I'm doing is collating pegs and tearsheets and have yet to find the home to turn all my ideas into the real thing. Soon, very soon....

April 14, 2011

30 days of lists - Things I'm good at

The 30 days of lists challenge continues. Today: Things I'm good at. I really hope that this won't take too much time, because this exercise might just turn into an existential nightmare if I don't find items to add to the list.

  • Finding typos in menu
  • Planning travel itineraries
  • Maintaining a sense of direction
  • Backrubbing
  • Listening and giving advise
  • Being alone
  • Immersing myself in unfamiliar topics
  • Learning new languages
  • Writing
  • Having an opinion
  • Organizing
  • Finding the perfect husband ;-)

Lifestyle Magazine

This is a shameless plug for our recent wedding feature in the April issue of Lifestyle Asia Magazine. As a newlywed bride I am still floating on cloud nine —though the cloud isn't as high and fluffly I thought it would be, but that's another topic, which I shall cover in another post — and still get tickled pink at the sight of my onsite wedding video, the sound of our weddings songs, raves about our big day and obviously glances at our pictures... I had to buy several copies to give to friends in Europe, who can't quite wrap their heads around the idea of being featured in print media and of course a copy for myself to add to our wedding album.
Thank you Ms. Cheryl Tiu for making my day!

April 13, 2011

30 days of lists - About myself

My writing habits have gone rusty. I shamefully admit I have been neglecting them as all my attention seems to be geared towards a) my new duties as a wife and b) my growing duties as the Global Markets Manager of a beauty brand. While managing a household and a husband is challenging at times, it's work that has been getting the best of me lately. With VMV Skin-Specialist boutiques opening left and right across the globe, I have been quite a busy-bee. I know I can find the time to write, all I need is the discipline to do so. So here's a little project I am attempting to get myself back into the groove.

I accidentally stumbled upon a blog called "30 days of lists", in which readers are encouraged to participate in a month-long journal challenge, in which they create one list (the topics range from to-dos to wishlists to self-reflection) every day. Now while the actual challenge is over, I decided to take it on nevertheless here on my blog. This is absolutely coinciding with my current life mantra of taking a breather and focusing on some me-time. Plus I am a borderline obsessive-compulsive person who shows an increased need to organize her life in standard operating procedures and charts, so creating daily lists should fit right in.

So, following the instructions of the blog, my first list should be entitled "A few things about myself". Here we go:

  • French
  • Filipina
  • German (somewhat)
  • Wife (finally!)
  • Manager at VMV Hypoallergenics
  • Bookworm
  • Geek (and proud!)
  • Magazine-subscriber
  • Organization-freak
  • Part-time blogger/writer
  • Frequent traveller
  • Coffee-drinker
  • Gummibear-eater
  • Food-lover
  • Sports-hater
  • RealityTV-sucker

April 10, 2011

Day off

There are just those days where all I want is a break. A break from work, household management, D., friends, everything basically. Not because anything is wrong. Actually things are pretty good right now, more on that some other time. But simply because amidst all the stuff that's going on, I lose myself and need to stop the rollercoaster ― I use this analogy in the most positive way possible as I am a huge sucker for rollercoasters ― and take a deep breath and spend time with no one but myself.

So I did just that yesterday. D. was out in Subic for a training camp and I had no social commitments that day. Instead I read, watched movies I've been wanting to watch for a while now, pampered myself at the spa, took care of some of the items on my eternal this-isn't-crucial-but-would-be-nice-to-do list like re-organize my photo albums, delete duplicate files on my laptop... Some may call it a bum day, fine. I don't care.

It was a much needed me-day! I'm thinking of doing this more often. I feel so much saner right now.

April 8, 2011

Honeymoon Planning

We haven't actually gone to a proper honeymoon trip yet. Yes, we had 3 days off after the whole wedding celebrating shabang, but it was waaaaaay too short (I actually still need to blog about paradise a.k.a the resort we stayed at). So the real thing is planned for late summer/early fall ― not to hot, not too cool ― and as usual I have been designated travel agent, which, let's be honest, D. wouldn't be able to pull off anyways.

I'm thinking roadtrip through Tuscany. Little bed&breakfast with cute courtyard to have our espresso and cornetto in the morning. Strolling along the sidestreets of Florence and Siena. Driving through the countryside and discover little towns to have lunch at in their local trattorias....
Looking at these pictures how can one not want to go to Italy? During Fully Booked's recent sale, I was able to get my hands on dirt cheap versions of all possible Italy guides. Looking forward to many wasted hours of planning, daydreaming and prepping for the trip... Will keep you posted.


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