An olive green Christmas

Finally we have a picture with all of us together! Our outfits looked like it's part of a collection, haha. Totally unintentional. We just gravitated towards neutrals and olive greens for some weird reason.

We had a lot of fun on Christmas as always. One of our aunts continues to give us childhood toys in our annual gift giving. The past years we had play-doh, dolls, cars, action figures, toy guns, etc. This year we had sipa for the boys and mi pao for the girls! It immediately invoked memories of countless hours playing mi pao at the elementary shool yard along with jack stone and chinese garter. Such a fun gift. Even though the "kids" are technically grown up, childhood toys never fail to amuse.

On C - romper - F21 ; sandals - Nine West ; necklaces - care of Achi
On H - white top - Zara ; black cardigan - Bench ; shorts - F21 ; oxfords - Trunkshow ; necklace - gift from Achi
On J - see post below


Pecans roasting over an open fire

Wore this for the rehearsal dinner of my cousin. For the last 2 days, my mom, aunt, my SF cousin, and I have actually been baking nonstop for the wedding. We roasted pecans and filled 168 bottles for souvenirs, then baked 7 different kinds of cookies and bars for the groom's table (apparently there's such a thing as a groom's table). Even though it was technically a "chore", it was my dream come true. Baker's heaven. We were doing recipe after recipe in a beautiful, spacious, well-equiped kitchen. I kept on eating raw batter though and then eating the "damaged" pieces. I think I had my share of sweets for December.

And on a sidenote, my SF cousin is hilarious. She has a dry sarcastic humor that I wish I have. Case in point, she named her pet fish Sashimi. heh.

white dress - Chocolate ; black knit cover up - gifted by sister ; black wedges - Parisian


Switching around

Your eyes are not fooling you: it is the right background, but a different sister :)

What a switcharoo, ey? Haze has flown from the coop, whilst I've flown home. Haze is now layering up, whilst I've been stripping down. Don't worry, Haze will be back soon enough, and you'll see double in these photos.

In the meantime, I'm continuing my obsession with carrot pants, pants with manly silhouettes, you name it. You know what else I'm continuing? My thesis. It's still not done. Boohoo.

In spite of that, it's great to be home. At the very least, the change of environment feels like it's contributing to my productivity. The change in environment has also opened my eyes to... a fresh perspective in fashion :) Fashion here and fashion in Germany are so different! It's more colorful here, more individual, more expressive. I've been seeing these wide, cropped, kimono-like sleeves around the city, or wide-collared, A-line, cropped blazers in bright, solid colors, or a combo of both. I want! The blazers lend such a cute 60's vibe, plus they'll be great additions to my work wardrobe for next year :)

Okay, but first I need to finish my thesis. I've slept so less the past few days because of cough and worry...I wonder how I'll survive this.

white top and carrot pants - Zara; black tank - Esprit;
sandals - Deichmann; earrings - Bijou Brigette


Times Square and the giant F21

Day 2 and final day in New York. Yea, short trip. This time we went uptown. Times Square, Rockefeller, 5th Avenue, and Guggenheim. For lunch we had kebabs from the sidewalk vendor. Previous day we had hotdogs and pretzels. They were really good, except that we had to eat outdoors which was freezing. This is all pa's idea by the way. He wanted to eat authentic NYC (street) food. Do what a New Yorker does perhaps? :)

coat - The Loft (borrowed from cousin) ; gray knit - DKNY (from bargain store) ; 
scarf - Bayo ; jeans - New York 101 ; ankle boots - F21


Day 1 at New York. Had a lot of fun with parents and cousin. We walked around downtown with no real plans. We just kept on walking and walking until we can't feel our fingers anymore then we'd duck inside shops to warm up. This serves me and my mom the best excuse. "I'm freezing! Let's go inside that store for a while." 30 minutes later, brand new Levi's jeans (on sale) :D

No famous landmarks on this day, but we did ride the double-decker tour bus, which I hate to admit is a very effective way to see New York. You can see the streets, the people, and all the busy activity going on. Everywhere you turn there's just something to oggle at. The vibrant energy is simply infectious. I love NYC!

blue sweater - Terranova ; floral dress - SM dept store ; 
ankle boots - F21 ; scarf - Beijing tiangge


Unfashionably cold

The problem with cold weather is I have no nice clothes for it. haha, But seriously, I hate feeling cold. I guess I'm a tropical girl through and through (though one who likes the AC during hot summer nights). So here I'm dressed in the drab colors of black, brown, and grey. The hat is the only interesting thing about this and they protect my ears from frostbite too.

pants - New York 101 ; sweater - ? ; scarf - Beijing tiangge ; 
boots - F21 ; hat - borrowed from cousin


Florals in the countryside

What is it about the countryside that makes me want to wear florals? I wore this outfit when we visited my in-laws back in the middle of October. I was a few days short of 30 then, and was still in full "bloom" of youthful, idealistic life.

Mweh. Who was I kidding? I was still groggy from lack of sleep. Haha! In order to be at the in-laws' place in time for lunch, we had to take the 6:50am train. Especially since this time, the hubby wanted to take the steam engine for the last leg of the journey, which lasted twice as long. Amazing racer, he is not.

The McDonald's at the Leipzig train station apparently didn't serve McMuffins until 7am on the weekends. Drat, foiled by 10 minutes! In Germany, a McMuffin is the only way you can bribe me to wake up that early in the morning with a semblance of a human expression on my face. (In the Philippines, we have faaar more choices: Jollibee longganisa meal, homemade arroz carldo, etc. etc. Yummm...)

Update: And as my sis posted below, there are also loads of new Beijing imported restos to look forward to. *excited*

tunic - Zara (was on sale for only 14 euros!); jeans - Zara
boots - Kampangen (the German shoe store--I finally dug the box out for reference)
snowflake necklace - stolen from Mom :)

Good vibes

Had dinner at Lugang - a franchise of Beijing’s Bellagio Cafe. The resto serves Chinese comfort food with an elegant modern flair. I think this can give Gloria Maris some good competition. There’s so many good food to try. I want to go back already.

Afterwards we headed to Happy Lemon, yet another franchise from Beijing. (Hmm, do I detect a trend?) I had the green tea with rock salt and cheese. It’s tea at the bottom with a creamy, salty foam at the top. I was iffy at first but it’s quite good and refreshing.

And to top it off I got to watch Harry Potter on Sunday after all. Hooray for Harry, Ron, and Hermione! All so grown up outside the walls of Hogwarts. And kudos to the actors. I feel like one proud mama which is weird when I’m only a few years older. They’re just so good now. Rupert especially gets to showcase his acting chops. He’s not just the comic relief anymore. And gone are the days of Emma’s overacting. Her first line in the movie alone shows how much more natural she’s become. And Dan nails it too, though I see more Dan than Harry sometimes. Gah, I just love them to bits!

Xia long bao. Mango shake with coconut milk.

My favorite fried string beans! It's finally in Manila!
Different form but still in its delicious oily glory.

Peanut butter smoothie. yum. Tastes so much like the real thing.
We joked about ordering tasty bread to go with it. 
Big, rich, creamy serving for only 160 bucks.

printed button-down  – Tango ; shorts – F21 ; flats – Shoebox ; bangles – tiangge


Feel good beats

I got this stripped top a few years back but never wore it. I thought of layering it over a white tee or tank but it never worked somehow. Yesterday I saw the top and suddenly thought of the J Crew video my sister posted. It was true light bulb moment. I love that ad. The model's outfits spell comfy classic chic. So here I bring forth my best imitation.

I was buttoned up for work by the way. Then for night, I unbuttoned the shirt, knotted the ends, put a strands of pearls (only 130 bucks!) and ta-da, ready for a night out. Where exactly? To the Gin Blossoms concert! It was a total blast from the past. They sounded great though I only know their old hits. And special mention to the opening act 6 Cycle Mind. They didn’t play their music but instead covered songs from Radiohead, Third Eye Blind, Francis M, Semisonic, etc. I was in 90s heaven.

And the night before that, guess whose album promotion I went to?? David A!! Heehee. Kinilig ako. He was super cute. He sang only 3 songs but it was so worth it. He was all smiles and full of energy. David A, come back for a proper concert!

stripped top – Greenhills tiangge ; blue button down – Zara ; 
necklace – Landmark Dept Store ; jeans – Terranova ; sandals – Robinsons Dept Store


Sort of channeling Mondo Guerra

Oh Lordy, I am not scratching my head. It's that "tucking a lock of hair behind the ears" pose. I really should do something about this whole posing business. Like, learn it, for starters. Models of ANTM, GNTM, etc. etc. I have renewed respect for you.

Hookay. So. The outfit. Watching Project Runway Season 8, I found Mondo Guerra's ability to mix and match prints a wondrous thing to behold. It's done so effortlessly, and the result so chic. So I dug around my closet and inside a secondhand store in Munich, and came up with this outfit. It's not exactly like the Jackie O Challenge outfit, but until I have the powers of Heidi Klum and simply ring Mondo and ask with a German accent, "do you have my dress?", this will do. (The German accent, perhaps I can work on--I am thus one step closer to my goal. Mwaha!)

The skirt is a tad too big though, and I hope to have it taken in when I fly home to the Philippines in December. Also, is it possible to transform an A-line into a pencil skirt??

Actually, my current obsession with all things plaid began when I stumbled into this image at Anthropologie's website:

The layers, the tulip hem, the cut, the colors, the positioning of the print--siiiigh, what a beauty. But unless someone magically hands me 144 euros and say, "Go forth and shop without guilt", then I guess my thrift find combo will do :) (Btw, why are the prices on Anthro's European website more expensive than the US one? Boo.)

Gosh, what a long outfit post. I must really be obsessed with plaid! Plaid-ly obsessed. Hee!

black cropped jacket - G2000, striped top - H&M, skirt - thrifted
belt - from the Philippines, tights - H&M, boots - German shoe store


CKB thrift find # 3

Here's the animal print skirt I like :) I had hiked it up a few centimeters to contrast with the loose floppy top, but the skirt actually skims the top of my knees, so I think it should be okay to wear to work when paired with a business-like top and a long, structured blazer.

A lot of my skirts are A-line in shape. Recently, I've found myself leaning towards the pencil cuts...perhaps yet another subliminal effect of Mad Men? (Soon I will have whiskey in the middle of the day, all throughout the day.) Isn't it weird though, just when you think you have all the staples in your closet and don't need to go shopping anymore, new cuts and new shapes appear that make you throw your hands up and your debit card keel over.

Oh, and the awkward pose? I was leaning on the chair behind me with my arms. Don't worry, I haven't sold my arms for a new pencil skirt :)

top and belt - H&M, skirt - thrifted, necklace - gift
tights - H&M, boots - German shoe store


Drapey things

I love my loose white tank. It's simple, versatile, and fit for layering. Most tanks in stores are fitted and those don't really suit me. So when I saw this tank in the Rockwell bazaar I snapped it up even though it's not that cheap (although cheaper than Topshop).

So guess what happened today?? My precious shirt incurred a tiny hole at the stomach area. How? Our dog bit it. No kidding. Kiwi was inside the cage and looked so forlon so I thought I'd let her out for a while. She promptly jumped on me and mistook my top as swishy playthings and proceeded to bite and pull. Never again! And fittingly we just came from Fairview to meet with a potential dog trainer. This latest episode further confirms that crazy Kiwi is dire need of training.

P.S. The gray top is a direct influence of Childhood Flames, one of my favorite fashion blogs. I got it almost a year ago but wore it the first time today. Gotta give that top more love.

gray top - New York 101 ; white tank - Rockwell bazaar ; 
leggings - from AU ; necklace - Mango ; bangle - tiangge


Channeling Tom, Gail, and Padme

It’s my secret wish to be a judge in a Top Chef episode. Ok, perhaps it’s not so secret. But since that fantasy is too far-fetched, the next best thing is to attend a food tasting event. Yesterday night I went to OAP's Ultimate Taste Test. There were 40 food suppliers and we get to sample everything for an entrance fee of Php 385. Not bad right?

I was full after 30 minutes though. I don’t know how the Top Chef judges do it. They could eat course after course and show no sign of waning enthusiasm. Respect, man.

The only food stall I kept going back to is the tea stall. Under normal circumstances, I’d fawn over the apple pie or get another serving of dulce leche bread pudding or savor that pulled beef sandwich, but due to food overload, my favourite became the cleansing peppermint tea. I rated the tea higher than anything else.

All in all, it was a fun event. Moderation and pacing is key. I wouldn’t mind being a food critic again. Thanks OAP, when’s the next one?

As for the outfit, I got the knit top at Tango. The store carries a lot of stylish clothes that could pass for Zara. And at a fraction of Zara’s price too. Hence my impromptu purchase. But after that buy I think I have to impose a shopping ban. My thinning wallet sure needs it.

knit top - Tango ; white tank - Rockwell bazaar ; 
jeans - Terranova ; wedges - Parisian ; necklace - Diva


CKB thrift find # 2

Told 'ya those shorts from my Colours Kleidermarkt haul were weird. Thus the face...to go along with the shorts :)

Actually, that's my thinking face. Hmm, no wonder no one takes me seriously when I say I'm thinking.

Anyway! I was thinking how to style the shorts. I folded the bottom three times, threw on a blazer and a belt...et viola!

Ready for an afternoon at the city center with the hubby!

And here I am pretending to read a magazine, so that people will finally take me seriously :)

blazer - Mango, sweater - Zara, shorts - thrifted
belt - from another dress bought from the Philippines


Easy day today

I rely on these denim shorts way too often. It's so easy to throw on and any top works with it. Perhaps I should impose a ban again. But um, I am wearing a floral top after all so my floral ban didn't exactly last long. Also this handbag just magically appeared in our closet one day. We don't know its true origins. But yay for us. It's cute and simple and inside there's a built in calculator. I kid you not. I tried to remove it but it wouldn't budge.

I got to watch Social Network yesterday. Really interesting and kind of epic considering how Facebook is affecting our generation's social culture. But according to the press the story itself is far from accurate. I guess we'll never know what really happened. And I'm sort of amazed how Justin Timberlake made me forget he's Justin Timberlake. Good acting.

shorts - Greenhills tiangge ; button down shirt - Rockwell tiangge ; 
belt - SM dept store ; bag - Rosetti ; bracelet - gifted by friend


CKB thrift find # 1

So this is Find #1 from Colours Kleidermarkt Berlin. This piece was from the "14.99 euros per pound" pile, so I'm guessing this one came up to be around 3 euros.

In the yellow light of the warehouse, I thought the dress was brown, but after I took it home and reveled in the spoils of a good hunt, I realized it was super duper dark brown, bordering on black...like my soul. (Mwahahaha! :))

Anyway, after wearing a mustard undershirt for a pop of color and rolling up the sleeves to take away some of the severity...and after "belting" out some wizardry (excuse the pun)...here's what I came up with:

It looks a bit more put together now, but it still looks severe. A colored belt perhaps? A funky cover-up? Also, it's still big under the armpits, although the belt helped minimize this. I sooo wish I have this girl's talent.

How amazing is this girl Marissa who's re-creating a $1 dress everyday for a year? She's currently doing a "Dye Week" theme, where she's re-coloring her thrift finds. This makes me think if I can dye this dress, but with the fabric and dark color, would the new color take hold? Plus, would the dye wipe out the print? I have no idea. *clueless blink blink*

mustard top - Terranova; dress - thrifted
brown tights - Yorn; shoes - Zara; "J" necklace - gift from godmother :)


8 hours in Berlin

You may ask, so if I had really been to Berlin, where are the shots of the Brandenburg Gate or the Reichtag in the background? Well, my kitchen has a fridge to prop the camera on, Berlin didn't. So you'd just have to take my word that I was in Berlin :)

Wait! I do have proof, but not by way of photos. I've been lucky to have had visited the fantastic city of Berlin a few times, either by leisure or business trips. I've seen the major sites and museums. So now I thought of discovering Berlin in a different way--by fleamarket-hopping. I did it once before and had stumbled unknowingly into little pockets of colorful communities in Berlin--to my extreme delight. These micro-communities are the Berlin for the locals, which made ol' tourist me fall in love with Berlin even more.

Anyway, so back to my proof. After renewing my passport at the Philippine embassy in Berlin, I took the U-Bahn over to the Bergmannstrasse area, on the hunt for Colours Kleidermarkt, a second-hand store hailed in one of my guidebooks. It did not disappoint; Colours was a whole floor of vintage and second-hand goodies from scarves to 80's dresses to kitschy Oktoberfest wear. Some items were priced individually, while some were priced per kilo! My proof(s) that I went to Berlin? A butter-yellow kimono-sleeved tunic/blouse, a tiger-print fur skirt, a blue weird high-waisted long-ish shorts (which I need to fix or at least style properly), a 60's shirtwaist dress (which on hindsight is too dark and too big), and a silk (I think) square scarf! And all that for a little over 20 euros. Wowza, what an achievement. Haha!

Spending a day in Berlin, I wanted an outfit that's comfortable to walk in, so I wore my Chucks. (They weren't originally gray--I'll tell you the story next time :)) I'm loath to pair up sneakers with skinnies, because I feel like Ronald McDonald with my size-9.5 feet, but--oh well--sometimes comfort just simply trumps fashion. Plus, the Chucks ended up not looking too Titanic-ish on the photos :)

This is also the first time I layered statement pieces of jewelry...I like it. It's inspiring me to see what else I can mix and match, although I've tried before and found it not so easy. Practice, practice! :)

shirt - H&M, blazer - Zara, pants - Zara, shoes - Converse
necklace - H&M and Bijou Brigette



That was my countdown for turning 30 on the 20th of the 10th month of the year. It would had been the only time I could have used it*, and it was nice when it came to me while I was writing an email invitation to friends. Must have been from watching all those Mad Men episodes :)

I celebrated with 30 friends in a tiny maroon-lit restaurant-bar-lounge in our area called Die Kleine Trauemerei (The Little Dreamerie...how adorable is that!). It was a sweet evening--different circles of friends mixing together and talking and generally having a good time. It was cozy, toned down, comfortable--I think the wildest thing in the party was the wild turnip they served as part of the finger food buffet.

And to cap off the evening? Receiving these beautiful, happy flowers from my parents and sisters from the Philippines! Thank you, guys! I love it :) What a surprise!

*I guess I could still use 30-20-10 when, in the future, I...swat 30 mosquitos in 20C weather in an apartment on 10th street. Or...when I pick 30 tomatoes on the 20 branches of my 10 tomato plants. Or...if I win 30 million on my 20th try on a 10-number lotto game! Hahaha!

tunic - Meg; black turtleneck - Promod
black skinnies - Zara; boots - German shoe stoAlign Centerre
necklace - gift from Mom, it represents the "Water Cube" at the Beijing Olympics!


Of new and old

The theme of the birthday party was vintage and I wasn’t sure how dressed up people would be. Turns out a lot of them took it to heart. There were feathers, lace, pearls, head pieces, high waist shorts, statement necklaces, blazers, patterned tights, gloves, etc etc. It was fun seeing the different takes on vintage. I went with the lace route and hopefully the printed cover up looked vintage-y with the braided belt. And bejewelled sandals for some bling.

lace dress – Chocolate ; cover up – Museum ; belt – SM dept store; sandals - ?


Here comes the sun

Excuse the face. Sometimes I forget to make a nice face at the end of the 10 second timer.

This bag is a gift from my sister from her trip to Morocco. I love how it makes an ordinary outfit look cool. The woven leather, raw fringe, and buckled strap - so perfect.

So this Sunday was a duplicate of last Sunday. Rockwell and Dulcinea churros yet again. Not a bad routine eh? Our purpose was actually the Moonlit Bazaar. There were lots of trendy and affordable items inside. But as usual, when there’s too many things, I get overwhelmed and end up buying very little. I did make 2 purchases: a plain white razorback and a shiny purple clutch with a huge bow. The bag is reminiscent of Madonna in her Material Girl stage, complete with black lace details. It's so unlike anything in my closet. I don’t know what made me buy it. But different is good.

PS. This outfit has sort of a 70s vibe. More in the hippie part of the spectrum. Sibling ESP!

Top – People are People ; skirt – Promod ; bag – gifted by sister


That 70's Style

Continuing the lookbook copycatting / inspiration-digging, I came up with my own version of the 70's look. Mango, Promod and H&M are highlighting that era this season, and I'm glad. I love that 70's style.

One of the best parts about this outfit is the yellow blouse, which I snagged at a second-hand / vintage shop opposite the university's city canteen (or as they dub here, the city mensa). It think the store was called Humana or Humanita. Unfortunately, I'll never have the chance to check, because when I had gone for the second time, an empty store front greeted me, with blocked up display windows. How sad!

I would love to know if there are any other second-hand or vintage stores in Leipzig. Knowing the grunge, hippie, alternative student vibe of the city, there must be a few lurking around corners. Come out, come out wherever you are!

Oh, just to segue a bit (and it seems I can't stop talking about clothes lately--perhaps I feel repressed due to the shopping ban)--I cannot wait to buy those long straight flared pants of this season. Eagerly awaiting for sales!

P.S. The other best part, you ask? My Charles and Keith sandals!

blouse - thrifted; vest - Mango;
belt - H&M; jeans - Promod; wedges - Charles & Keith


When the parents are out, the kids play about

Went to Rockwell with my younger sis. We walked around from noon til 3 and then had Dulcinea's churros con chocolate. There used to be a Dulcinea stall in the Ateneo caf and I’d have those churros religiously. Like once a week religious. It's just so good! Chewy fried dough paired with hot spanish chocolate. Nomnomnom. I haven’t eaten one in ages so this was a real treat. And I think my sister was converted into a churros fan too.

So this outfit... I liked it at the start but then it felt a bit kiddie by the end of the day. So I don't know.

ruffle dress – 168 tiangge ; chambray vest – Bayo ; 
sandals – Parisian ; bag – Jellybean



Feeling that I do not re-mix the items in my closet to the fullest, I like looking at various label's lookbooks for inspiration. I flip through looks and do a mental inventory of my closet to see if I can recreate a certain outfit.

Mango's Winter 2010 lookbook featured this. I thought it's a cute look for school and before I knew it, my spidey senses were like, whoaaa, you might be able to recreate this!

So I came up with this:

Hahaha! It reminds me of a cheese spread TV commercial from my childhood days with a line that goes, "You're nothing but a second-rate try-hard copycat!" But close enough, right?

Granted, I don't have her impossibly defined high cheekbones and beautiful vintage bike. But I have a freaky-looking panda with its freaky-looking finger-hand and a spaced-out floating chicken behind me. So there, I win.

(That's the little Asian imbiss/mobile fast food at the beginning of our street. I think the hubby and I need to hone our location scouting skills. Lol.)

shirt dress - H&M; army green jacket - Stradivarius;
necklace & bag (hidden) - Promod