common yet in style | winner of shopbop’s $100

black and white striped maxi dress – props | denim jacket – borrowed from sister | leopard wedge booties – shoe etiquette | bowler hat – metro department store | necklaces: black & fringe – downtown find, elephant tusk – bangkok find | bangles – downtown finds | white wayfarers – raybans, borrowed from sister

i believe it was 3 or 4 years ago when dresses in jersey material were a hit — from sundresses with belts that tie at the back and that came with various neckline designs to maxi dresses in bohemian tops or halter necklines. they were common and everybody was wearing them. well, because they were easy and comfortable. this black and white bold striped was one of them.

but does common have to equate to boring? instead, i am finding this black and white dress to be one of the most versatile closet items i have. on a rainy day, i can wear this with a classic denim jacket, leopard wedge booties for an oomph and a bowler hat or for summer, i can wear this sans the jacket but with a loose blush knit shawl, a pair of beaded sandals and wide-brimmed floppy hat. for a laid-back day, i can wear this with my signature long cardigan and a pair of metallic ballet flats. 

so my dress may be common and can be bought everywhere but it doesn’t have to be boring. it just really depends on how we style an item hence, the term personal style

you, how else would you style this common dress?

oh and before i forget, announcing the winner of’s $100 giveway!

i will e-mail you with the details. congrats! 

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erratic behavior

white blazer – thrifted | striped top – thrifted | denim shorts – thrifted | coin necklace – bangkok find
turquoise ring – bangkok find | owl ring – gifted by marianne | brown sunnies – carbon find

if you’re thinking about something bad, don’t. i’m just talking about the weather. as sunny as my photo is now, the direct opposite happened just last week. the sky was dark for 4 days and the rains were so heavy that my car got flooded as i was driving out of the office to buy food for lunch.  cleaning my car caused me P1,500 and i had to get some repairs done too. yes, it was that heavy and i’m sure it was heavier and a lot worse in other areas. for those who are in areas that are most likely to get hit by typhoons, keep safe and be prepared. 
anyway, on a lighter note, do you find my white blazer to be like that of a doctor’s? i bought this 2 years ago but i’ve only worn this twice, i think. i bought it because it’s cotton and very breezy but it’s very tricky to wear. what do you think? did i style it right?

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be kind, rewind

star printed dress – thrifted | striped oversized cardigan – thrifted | black leggings – metro | lace-up booties – sm department store (gifted from harry) | stacks of bangles – gifted and carbon finds | dog tag – custom
fox ring – bangkok find | brown sunnies – carbon find

for regular readers, you might find this dress and cardigan familiar. i do have this insane rule of not repeating what i wear but only for the same month. as much as possible, i’d like to keep my outfits different when i can. for me, style is not about buying new clothes to wear everyday. here are the different times i’ve worn the items on this outfit:

as we are currently saving up for our wedding, i can’t allow myself to get tempted by new retail buys. i think this is absurd but Harry says i have way too many clothes and even asked me if i have attempted to count them. i didn’t answer him, of course, but i know that i should stop buying more and it’s just a small sacrifice for me to finally wear that big yet flowy and white bohemian wedding dress that i’ve always dreamed of.

so, expect more outfit posts with items recycled from previous outfits. ♥

ps. thanks to the readers who left comments on my last post. i am glad to be back and it’s definitely heart-warming to know i’ve been missed. will get back to your comments soon! mwah! ♥

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maxi + stripes = answered questions

i think i’m getting bad at blogging mainly because i’ve been trying to juggle so many new things in  my life and welp, because when i get home all i want to do is watch TV, ‘imortal’ to be more specific. i just can’t resist john lloyd cruz’s good looks.LOL. to those who are not from the philippines or do not follow teleseryes or local tv series, ‘imortal’ is the pinoy’s take on the vampire-wolf craze. it’s something between twilight / underworld / anne rice plus the pinoy cheesiness. 

just so you guys won’t think that i’ve totally forgotten about the questions you posted on my last giveaway, i’m going to answer a few right now. here goes:
which one would you prefer most — stripes, plaid or polka dots? (27chic and tortured artist)
well, for those who have been following my blog for some time now, you would know that i have such a weakness for polka dots. although it’s weird saying this because the photos above show me wearing stripes..hehe. 

have you tried wearing neon leggings? (27chic)
as much as i’d like to, no i haven’t and i don’t think i ever will. constant running and drills from my old football days have developed my legs to be most unforgiving in bright colored pants, what more leggings. but i will be wearing a pair of metallic purple leggings this halloween.*wink*

who is your fashion icon and why? (eelectroCutee and style-haus)
i normally say mary-kate olsen because i just adore her laid-back, boho-chic style but i just recently discovered carine roitfeld (yes, it took me an issue of preview two months ago to appreciate her style) and i am just blown away by her. her style is just chic, slightly disheveled but very smartly done. she dons  embellishments and layers accessories without going to far. i just love how she layers and pairs her clothes. 

what is the major change you had recently? (sweet)
i think most of you know this but i’m going to say it for those who don’t — 2 months ago, i resigned from a high-paying job which was making me unhappy in exchange for a job which pays only half of my last salary but is very close to my interests — the arts and marketing. 

where do you go thrifting here in Cebu? (alexa luna)
cebu freedom market or carbon is a fail-safe way to thrift although it may be a bit chaotic. you can find vintage dresses, cool shirts, frayed or washed out denim shorts, beautiful scarves from P10 – P70. for a more comfortable environment though, walk around the areas nearing cebu doctor’s hospital. they have several air-conditioned spots that sell ukay-ukay from P50 – P280. and when you do plan to go on an ukay trip, tell me so i can go with you.hehe. 

chic in the tropics is holding a CSN giveaway exclusively for US and Canadian readers. go check it out!

 grey striped top – thrifted
grey maxi skirt – thrifted
grey flats – gifted from charm
red studded belt – pratunam, bangkok
cross necklace – borrowed from aimee
rings: studded owl – carbon find | orange howlite – dane’s giveaway
gun-metal scales bracelet – tseng accessories

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headache in style

so yeah, i’m totally copying vanessa east of one frozen margarita. i am just totally jealous of how she rocks turbans and scarves. don’t get me wrong, i am totally a scarves girl and have a dozen at home but they only get worn at home or at the beach. but today, with full conviction, i decided to wear them to work. sure i got a few stares from people coming into the office and at one point, when my sister came in, she joked and asked if i had a headache. well yes, a headache in style. *wink*
pardon me for the photo heavy post. this is what happens when the electricity has gone out twice in a day and all work is paused because everything we do is dependent on it. so we opened up the blinds and took advantage of the warm afternoon light. and yup, that’s armand at my back, totally posing as if he didn’t know i was taking photos of myself. haha!
polka dot scarf used as turban – thrifted
striped tee – thrifted
grey shorts – props
beaded sandals – gifted from harry
necklaces: key and fairy – props
bangles: wound brass wires – carbon find | white wood – chatuchak, bangkok
rings: white stone – props | butterfly – gifted from sweet

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photo possibilities + body clock change

i meant to do a post last night but i had to watch and take care of Harry at the hospital — he got admitted for a bacterial infection and has had a fever on and off. he’s doing a bit well now, if you should ask. he still has a slight fever but he’s no longer having chills.
the photos here were taken at one part of the office area. the place is teeming with possibilities and i can’t wait to shoot in all areas possible. the office is located in an advent center which looks like a really big house and our room is on the first door. aside from the interesting areas to shoot outside, the building has a terrace with talisay trees in the background and white wooden panels on the walls. on the way up to the second floor is a wooden staircase, some antique stuff like old radios, typewriter and antique sofas. the the center is on a compound which also has an italian restaurant — haven’t eaten there thought as they say it’s quite expensive. good thing the aroma of the italian food doesn’t reach the office because one thing i have discovered on a ‘day’ job is that it definitely has heightened up my appetite. if you’ve notice, i’ve gained weight in these photos. 
i think i’ve gained about 5 lbs. i just can’t stop eating! i think i get hungry every 3-4 hours which is not good for me because i easily gain weight. although i am not on a strict diet as i eat whatever i want like sinful desserts and all the meat i can eat, i try though to choose food items that are healthier like brown rice, whole wheat bread, lean meat or char-grilled all-meat burgers instead of the ones found in fast food chains with meat extenders in the form of eggplants that easily absorb oil. shifting to a day job has certainly shifted my hormones and body clock too and so far, i am still adjusting. hope this adjustment transitions faster because i might no longer fit into my clothes! (or the denim levi’s high-waist cut-offs i thrifted last month which i have yet to wear! buhu…)
okay, so the following photos below are a result of a gay friend who has worked for Drawingboard for more than a year but was only encouraged to be gayer because i started working their too. we decided to wear heels this day and maybe on all other days in the office. you might find his face to be familiar to you — meet Armand Alforque in black booties:
striped oversized cardigan – thrifted
white tank top – thrifted
grey skinny jeans – thrifted
black peep-toe booties – celine (gifted from harry)
pink suede belt – big sister’s closet
robot necklace – downtown find
rings: black rectangle stone + white round stone – props
work watch – swatch

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a need for forty percent

harry is out of town and i was staring into my computer screen, just feeling really restless and bored. i needed to go out, grab a bite with friends, get a bit tipsy and maybe dance the night away. although i used to be the girl who couldn’t not end her week without a trip to the bar and have some drinks, i haven’t been going out regularly because 1) i am always so freakin’ tired and just want to sleep 2) i have found to hate being in a crowd of pretentious people. with having nothing to do at work anymore, i have surprisingly stored a lot of unused energy over the week and was itching to just move! 
i initially was able to convince my friends to go dancing at Loft but after meeting here at my house, we ended up deciding to just hang out at my friend’s friend’s bar — just a place to chill out and have a few drinks with grilled pork on skewers or what we call ‘pork barbecue.’ i have such a weakness for barbecue and am able to devour several sticks at a time. our barbecue here in the philippines is the smartly skewered lean pork then ended with a piece or two of fat. the pork is then smothered with barbecue sauce — just a mixture of soy sauce, maybe a bit of vinegar, ketchup, sugar, a little chili and oil. damn, we ended up eating more rice with the barbecue than expected. guilt-trip at its best!
ice cold tanduay ice was a perfect complement to the barbecue but with only 7% alcoholic content, i ended up drinking about 5 bottles with only a tinge of tipsiness and a really bloated tummy at the end of the night plus a painful headache the next morning. guess i always need my 40% of alcoholic content per volume from my favorite absolut kurant!
diagonally striped top – thrifted
zipped-up grey denim skirt – thrifted
long black cardigan – thrifted
navy blue bejeweled flats – parisian | sm dept store
metallic blue thin belt – props
pink polka bangle – DIY
square gun-metal with bird imprint necklace- a gift from gelie
dog tags – custom-made

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a craving i regretted

after having spent the whole weekend at home and just mostly sleeping, i was in serious need of something good to eat. reading other blogs post food porn didn’t help either. it made me all the more hungry for something to comfort me — ah, the perils of comfort food. it was 9:00 AM and i have been up for almost 4 hours. i already had a hearty breakfast at 6:00 AM but i still wanted to eat something that would fill in this void in me. (what void? i don’t know) does this sound familiar to you? do you get food cravings too?
 i wanted to eat a full order of pasta or maybe a grilled quarter-pounder and have a brownie or cheesecake after. it’s then i realized that with the coming months of conscious unemployment, shoes are not my weakness. FOOD IS!
i immediately texted karen and invited her for lunch. we decided to eat at sbarro because we know they’d have good italian food and have big servings. boy, did i regret ordering my humongous sausage and pepperoni stuffed pizza! i mean, can somebody get dizzy after eating too much? apparently, i did! i wasn’t able to take photos of the food before i started gulfing it down. i couldn’t resist the dripping tomato sauce over the baked bread stuffed with cheesy goodness and perfectly salty sausage and pepperoni. here’s how my plate looked like (and trust me, i am not doing this again!):
karen couldn’t finish her half-order of baked zitti in white sauce. she said she was drinking too much of her raspberry iced tea so she got easily full. and no, we didn’t get cheesecake or dessert after. i had to buy some menthol rub from the pharmacy because my head was aching from how full i was. describe gluttonous and that’s me!
for filipinos out there, i think you’d know what i mean by the ‘pinoy attitude’ on food. i couldn’t eat the last slice of bread on my plate. it was all too much for me! haha! to those who don’t know, the ‘pinoy attitude’ on food means that we are always too shy or embarrassed to eat the last slice. ‘pinoys’ or filipinos usually leave the last bite for someone else, afraid of being deemed ‘greedy.’ so when we share a pan of pizza or a dish of chili wings, tendency is, there’s always a last slice or piece left and we’d have to banter and tease each other as to who gets to eat the last one because we are so ‘pinoy!’
striped top – thrifted
navy blue cover-up – thrifted
high-waisted denim skirt – thrifted
grey flats with zebra printed bow – sm dept store
dog-tag necklace – custom-made
gun-metal layered cuffs – props
stone ring – thrifted at carbon
grey bag – mongkok ladies’ market, hk
brown sunnies – thrifted at carbon

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letting go of some comforts

my sisters and i have lived comfortably since we were young even when my parents were just making ends meet when it comes to house rent and bills. they’re both dentists and unfortunately, dental services here in the philippines are not as valued as it is in the U.S. filipinos have a ‘bahala na’ (never mind) attitude and would rather attend to other concerns than the state of their teeth. but even so, my sisters and i always had new shoes for the new school year, new bags and quality school materials. we always had birthday gifts and christmas gifts to look forward to. no, we were never given anything we wanted all the time. the gifts we received were always for special occasions and always something we worked hard for. i remember back then, aimee and i wanted barbie dolls but we would be told, “if you want one, save for it.” so we’d be given daily allowances (like P5 or P10 a day) and aimee and i would save that until we could afford that barbie or that tweety bird bag (i was a sucker for tweety bird then! haha!)…some gifts would be for prizes from high test scores or in my case, being at the top of the class.
my parents taught us the value of money and the importance of saving up. they taught us how to work hard and to sacrifice a little. i worked a full shift at a call center when i was on my graduating year in college and only slept 4 hours a day because i had to complete my thesis at the same time. i complained but i was happy being able to help my dad. sure, aimee and i are brats but not because we were given every material thing we wanted but because we know that our mom and dad are always there to back us up. (that is why, in college, our dad would drive us to vudu and fetch us there at 4:00 AM…hehehe. our dad is the coolest!)
as i am planning for un-employment, i won’t deny that i am worried for losing some comforts as i let go of my big salary, but i also know that i have been through tougher times. i have to temporarily let go of shoe shopping and weekly massages or movies but i know i will survive this.
striped top – dkny (thrifted!)
white tank top – random
boyfriend jeans – abercrombie
grey flats – so fab! (gift from big sis)
grey ombre pashmina scarf – hongkong street
round imprinted necklace – a gift from angelie (thanks!)
cuffs – props
square ring – props

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a mistake i got to make

i’m already 25 years old and will be turning 26 this august. in the philippines, even when we live in a modern world, that age is still somehow a cause for alarm if we’re not yet settled — whether in our careers, love life or family life. i am not going to lie. i am immensely scared about this leap that i am going to take. i finally talked to our manager today and he gave me this “your-a-woman-who-can-do-great-things” speech and saying that i am almost the next level, that i have worked so hard to succeed in an industry that i am good at. he wanted me to plan out my life in the next 5 years outside the company (or industry) and compare it with a plan inside the company. i smiled with all my courage and said, “i know that i am good at my job but i don’t want to be doing something that i hate for a long time. honestly, i don’t plan to plan for the next month.”
in ‘how i met your mother’ season 1, lily told ted that going to san francisco may be a mistake but it’s a mistake that she has to make and that a bigger mistake would be not being able to find out if it’s a mistake or not. (ted totally got side-tracked over the number of mistakes in the sentence)… i know it’s confusing but i really still do think and feel that i have to do this. 
sorry if i am boring you with three successive posts about my plan to leave my current job. it’s been in my mind for the past week — every day for that matter. just wanted to let it all out. thanks for listening. better topics next week, promise. *wink*
black blazer – thrifted
white tank top – abercrombie
striped city shorts – bought from manager’s garage sale
black platforms – forever 21
silver cuffs – thrifted at carbon
gun-metal layered bracelet – thrifted at carbon
gun-metal reindeer necklace – bubble bee tea house
dog tags – custom-made
aviators – mongkok, hk

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borrowing policies

if you have a sister or in my case, sisters then you would know what i mean about borrowing policies. i have 3 closets because i have two sisters — charm, who is older than me by 8 years and aimee, who is younger than me by 2 years. we get to borrow clothes, bags and accessories except jeans and shoes because we each have different sizes — charm is 5’7″ so her jeans are too long for me, her shoe size is 39 which is too big for me as i am a 37 and aimee is a size 0 (yes, she’s a that even a size?LOL) so her jeans will not fit me at all, her shoe size is a 35 or 36 which is too small for me. our clothes go on rotation. it’s like shopping everyday as we get to visit each other’s closets. but there are rules — rather strict rules with borrowing stuff:
    1. first dibs always goes to the owner — meaning, the clothes you borrow should have already been worn by the owner
    2. always take care of the stuff you borrow — no stains, no scratches, no tears.
    3. the clothes or stuff have to be returned to the original place we found them — or at least, it has to make an appearance in the owner’s room or closet once a week.
aimee is a bit harder to borrow clothes from because she’s always possessive and hardly wears her clothes because she wears a uniform to work. i sometimes ban her from our thrifting trips and disregard any thoughtfulness we have when we see clothes she might like when my mom and i are out thrifting because she has too many stuff she hasn’t worn yet.  so now i am patiently waiting for her to wear the striped dress she bought a month ago, this studded, leopard print off shoulder top, a military jacket (that i might secretly wear to work when she’s asleep…LOL) and this pale blue plaid chiffon dress. last week, i insisted on wearing her grey apron-like top to work and she allowed me to (which is a miracle!) but here’s the catch, i cannot take photos of it…haha!

ps. my mom’s the easiest to borrow clothes from and she has lots of boho tops that i wear all the time. her closet is my favorite. *wink*
how about you, do you have ‘borrowing policies’ with your sister/s? how about with your mom or roommate?
striped top – random
black and white floral skirt with cutouts – lil’ sister’s (yey!)
black blazer – thrifted
braided belt – props
silver cuffs – thrifted at carbon

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my other love

oh no, i’m not cheating on harry. meet “cooper” our beloved golden retriever. this is actually my big sister’s dog but he has grown to be the love of the family. i met cooper when he was 4 months old.  he’s very playful and friendly (as all retrievers are). but because of his size, we hardly walk him outside, afraid that he’d drag us to the road. it’s sad because he’s all cooped up in the small space at the back of our apartment. he can maybe take a few turns or we can run and play a bit but the back is all concrete. it’s really difficult for us when we find a new place because we would always have to consider him and where we’d put him. (you see, my family moves every 4 years — we don’t do it on purpose but we just feel like it. but then, that’s another story.)

i have always imagined cooper running free in a green lawn…jumping at birds or maybe chickens. not on an all concrete space. in our old house 3 years ago, whenever he’d get the chance to escape out of our gate, he’d run after the chickens and we’d have to clamor to catch him. my mom found him one time holding a small chick between his paws, rushed to him, afraid he might have killed the chick only to find out that he was only playing with it and the chick was all wet with his saliva.

cooper is like our youngest baby brother. i found him really sick once and had to carry him to the vet. my sister took off from work and so did my mom and dad to be with him at the vet. cooper ate a poisonous frog and we were lucky to have found him earlier. i know though that bigger dogs have lesser human years to live compared to smaller ones. cooper was diagnosed with a heart worm last year and was predicted to have only a year to live. he’s old now but still somehow active. i love cooper as he was my silent best friend back when i got all depressed after graduating college.

i love this dog because he understands without saying anything.
do you have a pet that you love so dearly?

striped polo – thrifted
denim shorts – props
sneakers – chuck taylor’s
pink suede belt – random
pink sunnies – thrifted at manalili
gun-metal wire cuffs – props

dog-tag necklace – custom-made

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