ootd: urban apparel

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Lately, I have been thinking about my personal style and how I'm almost always in black and white and the frequency in which I rotate my clothes. If I wasn't blogging then this probably won't even be an issue but since I am, I can't help but ponder on it and wonder if you guys are thinking or feeling the same way about my ootd's.

And then I realized that I live in the real world where most people don't own as many clothes or go shopping as often and that it is really quite practical to just purchase a few pieces that flatter you in all the right places, are super comfortable to wear and can be worn over and over again.

It's just the thought of being "stuck" that's bothering me a bit but after giving it some thought, I am chalking it up to maturity. At my age, I no longer feel the need to be frivolous, I know what I like and what works on me and I can't blame myself for wanting to dress that way (even if it is 99% of the time).

And owning a closet full of 3 complimentary colors make it really easy to mix and match.

No style post for awhile cause I haven't been attending events much which leaves me with no one to take my photos, I usually just ask Dennis to take a quick snap with my phone and post it on Instagram (@sarahtirona - follow me for more ootds, there are more there right now than here; you can just msg me for brand info if you want).

But yesterday, I was finally able to sched a chill day  with Ana and Tracy so here, a new OOTD :P

We spent the entire day together shopping at the newly renovated Forever 21 store where the dialogue mostly went like this:

5 minutes in: "There's nothing to buy..." | After an hour in at checkout: "Crap, I'm over budget", "Shit, me too!" 

HAHA, the store is just huge and packed with stuff so it can feel a bit overwhelming but there's some pretty nice gems in there, cheap too. I got a nice pair of black pants for lounging that was on sale for only P500.

Aside from shopping, we also had dinner at Ippudo and a much needed pamper session at Beauty and Butter...hence, the foot spa/pedi-ready outfit:

normcore
birkenstock street style
manila's top fashion bloggers
birkenstock philippines
I paired this really cute athletic-inspired "Paris" jersey that I got from the recently opened "Urban Apparel" boutique in Alabang with my favorite Birkenstock Arizona's and origami skirt from Romwe (which I need to put on lockdown for being super overused).

Anyway, about Urban Apparel, have you been? It's pretty cool, it's a mecca of awesome (and quirky) brands from abroad under one roof. They carry UK-based vintage style brand: Tokyo Laundry, Swiss brand: Tally Weijl (which is where my top is from), and also Paris' Fresh Brand to name a few.

If you find yourself at Alabang Town Center, check them out at the G/F. You can also find Urban Apparel boutiques at Marquee Mall Pampanga and soon at Ayala Cebu.

for more info, follow Urban Apparel on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@urbanapparel_PH)

photos by anagonzales.com

paris top from Tally Weijl at Urban Apparel | romwe shorts (see here) | birkenstock arizona | matte folding ray-ban wayfarers from glasses online (see here) | zara bag

watsons wonders: beauty box hair heroes unboxing

Monday, September 29, 2014

You're probably all familiar with sample boxes right? They usually come in a neat 10x6 package loaded with travel sized samples or something close to that...

Now take a look at this Beauty Box by Watsons:


It's the "Hair Heroes" box and it is huge! This box contains more than enough full sized "Hair Wonders" to address all of your hair problems. It's a diverse and generous combination of Watsons' featured hair products for the month: enough to share among your entire family. 

Check out what's inside:


3 large tubs of Salon Professionals Keratin Treatment in Shea Butter, Milk & Honey, Fresh Mint and Vitamin E.
  • These are perfect as an aftercare treatment for colored and damaged hair. Why settle for regular conditioner when you can perform an affordable salon treatment at home?
  • Make it an event! Take turns with your husband/sister/mom and give each other scalp massages as you apply the treatments onto your scalp. It's a wonderful bonding experience, trust me ;)


For a quick and fun makeover sesh at home or to cover up those horrid whites, try Palty Hair Dye from Japan! It has a gentle formula that provides excellent grey coverage and nice color (you can check out my review HERE).

This is definitely one of my favorites from the entire box. This hair dye doesn't only perform well, it's also fun to use.


Aloe Derma Natural Shampoo, Conditioner and Scalp Tonic

Aloe Vera works great on hair and skin problems which is why I always make it a point to have a few fresh potted plants at home. Problem with this is that I get lazy to use the sap sometimes because it can get really messy.

Aloe Derma uses 99.8% certified organic Aloe Vera so you can get the benefits of Aloe without the mess!

Aside from addressing the problem of thinning hair, these products also smell wonderful and luxurious. They remind me of the toiletry set in Shang hotel.

*use all together for optimum results


Gatsby Moving Look Spray - when you need extra hold for that special occasion. Use after wax to keep everything in place all day and night!


Diane Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner - another product from Japan that I'm super excited to try.

Morrocan Argan Oil is one of the best things to ever happen to hair, having it in a shampoo and conditioner that comes in stylish packaging that will look good on your bathroom shelf is just a plus. ;P

But really, what I love is that this moisturizes the hair and scalp without leaving it greasy. Just soft, shiny and bouncy!


L'Oreal Extraordinary Oil - I've heard A LOT of good things about this from my fellow beauty bloggers. Many swear by this product and can't live a day without it. You're supposed to apply 3-4 drops before shampoo, before drying, on dry hair or as a finishing product (I guess you can basically use it anytime you want to :P) 

Glad I'm finally getting the chance to try it myself! (will do a separate review on this soon!)


Toni & Guy "Casual" Forming Spray Gel - ANY Toni & Guy product added to the mix always makes it worthwhile.

The "Casual" line is created for everyday use to create that much coveted, effortless, "just got out of bed" look. Stylishly mussy, just the way I like it!

Spray on damp hair, blow-dry or even just air-dry! AWESOME!


Hair Vitamin Moroccan Argan Oil - like I said, Moroccan Argan Oil is one of the best things to ever happen to hair (AND also the skin). It's best when used in its concentrated form like this:

For hair, place a small amount throughout damp hair and style as usual.

Pure Argan Oil is also great for massages and to use on the face after a peeling session.


And lastly, the product I found most interesting of all is this HairFix Miracle Hair Fiber with Locking Hair Spray.



It's the perfect solution for men and women with thinning hair. 
Judging from what I've read on the back of the box, I think it performs similarly to those fiber mascaras that add length to your lashes.

After washing and drying your hair, spray the Miracle Hair Fiber onto your scalp and follow with the Locking Hair Spray to keep everything in place despite wind or sweat.

If it works anything like the mascaras, then this product is quite a gem and a must-have. Thank god I don't have thinning hair yet but for those of you who do, this just might be the "quick-fix" answer to your problems.

Will give this to my grandma and try to convince her to make me document it so I can show you better how it works in a different post.


There you have it! 
The Hair Heroes for October. 

Which ones are you most eager to try? :)

Make sure to visit the nearest Watsons and check out the irresistible deals on these featured hair products.

for more info, connect with Watsons Philippines on FacebookTwitter and Instagram (@watsonsPH)



online shoe shopping


Keeping the whole family in shoes can sometimes be a challenge. Adults and children need various kinds of work, school and dress shoes, and there are often needs for athletic and casual footwear too. When it comes to kids, it can be especially challenging to keep their shoe needs covered and still stay within a budget, since children outgrow shoes quickly.

Looking online for shoe purchases can be a big help, especially when you check out outlet or other types of online venues that provide a large range of shoe types. While some kinds of shoe purchases will be straightforward, sometimes you need the help of online reviews to assess the workmanship of a given pair of shoes, especially shoes like hiking boots, show boots or running shoes, which will be getting a lot of wear and tear. Those kinds of shoes will often be put to the test in certain situations or terrains, and you’ll want to find out if they’ll stand up to what you or your kids will be putting them through.

When you shop online at places like Sneaker King, you’ll have the chance to look at a variety of shoes for the whole family. You can browse by men’s, women’s or children’s shoes and also search by top brands or particular kinds of sports. Whether you’re looking for hiking boots, moccasins, slippers, canvas or leather boat shoes, sandals, slides or sneakers, you can find them all. These and other online shoe shops for the whole family, such as Famous Footwear or Shoe Gallery Online, provide the opportunity to browse at your leisure and learn about different makes and styles. You can see the latest makes of athletic shoes or the coolest styles in dress shoes. Even if you end up going to a brick and mortar store to try things on, you’ll be armed with the information you need to ask questions about brands, styles and sizes.

Doing your homework online can help make shoe purchasing for your family a little less arduous. You can also sometimes find great discounts and shipping promotions when you purchase online that will help stretch your family shoe budget even further.

toys r' us at robinsons place antipolo opens!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

I am not widely regarded as a "mom-blogger" in our circle, I am always categorized as a styleblogger so I don't often get invited to kiddie events (much to mine and Nikola's disappointment). The few times I do, I make it a point to go even if it's way, way out in the boondocks.

When I got the Toys R' Us invite, I was so excited (you'd think it was ZARA :P), Nikola was too. She asked me if she could skip soccer practice to accompany me. Being that this was a rare occasion, I obliged and we transformed the trek into a fun day trip.

Robinsons Place Antipolo is a bit far from where I live but it doesn't take very long to get there via Marcos Highway and the route turns scenic once you're halfway through Sumulong Highway which is where its located.

This new mall, is pretty and spacious with a big outdoor parking lot surrounded by trees. It really makes you feel like your "out of town" even if you're just a few minutes away from the city.

The mall is divided into several two-storey buildings with outdoor verandas. Toys R' Us can be found in one of these adjacent structures separate from the main shopping center.


Although a bit smaller than the other Toys R' Us branches I've visited, it's still complete with all your favorite brands in stock (as well as those hard to find toys that ALWAYS immediately run out in malls closer to home).

They have a wide selection of affordable Toys R' Us private labels like:
BRUIN, YOU and ME, JUST LIKE HOME, DREAM DAZZLERS, FAST LANE, TRUE HEROES, STATS, EDU SCIENCE, UNIVERSE OF IMAGINATION, ANIMAL ALLEY, and PAVILION (board games, chess sets, tumbling tower and more for lots of fun family time)


And of course, no self-respecting toy store would be complete without these brands in their line-up: TRANSFORMERS, HOTWHEELS, POWER RANGERS, PLAY-DOH, FISHER PRICE, LEAP FROG, MONOPOLY, LEGO, LITTLE TIKES, PLAY-DOH, PLAYSKOOL, DISNEY, MARVEL, SONY PLAYSTATION, BARBIE, X-BOX, DISNEY INFINITY and a lot more!


Me, I was drawn towards these:

darn YARN!

I have always wanted to learn how to knit and my recent obsession (and success :P)with the Rainbow Loom has boosted my confidence ten-fold. I think I'm ready to conquer the yarn.
This kit will probably be the new fad for moms who want to graduate from rubber bands. :P


Nikola is still in her Rainbow Loom stage and was pretty much pre-occupied the entire time making bracelets at the special Rainbow Loom booth that was set up for us during the event.


It's so much fun to be able to "bring your kid along to work with you" and we both wish to be invited to more mom-daughter bonding events like this. :P

If you live in the Antipolo area, Robinsons Place is a nice new venue to take the family out for lunch and shopping. If you're far away like me, it's still a nice place to go when you feel like escaping from the city for a few hours.

And of course, while you're there, make sure to drop by the new Toys R' Us with your kids. :)

for more info, visit: www.toysrus.com.ph or connect with Toys R' Us Philippines socially on Facebook and Twitter (@toysRusPH) for first dibs on promos and fun events like this!


Five Practical Tools that you may never have heard of

You may be familiar with household DIY, or a complete novice, but there are a few tools that you may find practical and helpful and not be fully aware of. It could just be that you may be able to make good use of these tools at some point. 
It may seem obvious that if you’ve got a job that needs doing you have to obtain the correct tools to complete the job successfully. But if you’re not aware that certain tools exist then this may not be as easy as it seems. So what sort of less well-known tools may prove useful to you?
Different uses for a squeegee 
Most people have probably used a squeegee as a cleaning utensil, but is that the only use for the item? It may surprise you to know that you can also use a squeegee to create great paint effects on the walls of your home. All you need to do is spread the paint with the edge of the squeegee. To create a pattern in the paint all you need to do is use scissors to cut pieces out of the edge of the squeegee. 
Surviving with a rescue tool
This small and easy to carry tool is ideal for use in an emergency situation, as well as for general DIY tasks such as prising open doors that are jammed. Most often carried by members of the emergency services, they are an ideal tool to have at hand, if only for their flexibility of use. 
Using a tap and die set
Have you ever needed to make a screw hole so that you can attach items to each other, during a DIY task? If this is the case then you really need a tap and die set. The tapping aspect allows you to create threads in a smooth hole; it also allows you to carefully measure the threads per inch (TPI) so that you make sure the screw fits the hole. On the other hand, a die set gives you the option to create screws to use from smooth pieces of metal. 
A powerful chisel
If you’ve ever had to put real power into using a chisel then you know it can be hard work. What you may not know is that you can actually use a power chisel to take some of the pressure off. It’s a very noisy tool to use but it expends a lot less energy than a normal chisel. 
An old-fashioned adze 
Following on from the power chisel, a very modern day tool, is the traditional adze. The adze has been in use since the days of Ancient Egypt and it still has a place in today’s world, especially in the completion of traditional workmanship. The blade of the adze, which is similar to that of an axe, is used in the shaping of tree trunks to be used as beams in wood constructions. 
From traditional to contemporary, all of these tools can prove very useful if you have tasks to complete around the home. 




first and forever: forever 21 gets a hip makeover

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Do you remember what life was like before the first Forever 21 store opened in the Philippines? Seems like so long ago but it's actually been just 4 years.

Before this fast-fashion retail giant decided to open its doors here, it was so difficult to find affordable and current, trendy items.

You'd either have to scour through thrift stores or order abroad online.

Now, we're so spoiled with choices. Wether your heart is set on getting a cute graphic sweater, a coat for an upcoming trip, leather errthing, all you have to do is drop into the closest Forever 21 branch and you'll be able to duplicate your favorite style blogger's look in hardly any time at all.

With the newly renovated Forever 21 branch at SM Megamall, shopping has gotten even more convenient with its spanking new modern interiors that give off a sleek and clean look. It makes it a hundred times easier to spot the clothes you want.

The relaunch was held a couple of days ago and here are some pics of the event:

Which also happened to be a first time hosting stint for Martine Cajucom. The girl pulled it off flawlessly in a slouchy suit paired with some 90s inspired platforms. Definitely up my alley! Love this girl's style...


The guests who came were also looking super adorable:
(check out the mini Grace Coddington in her dark shades :))


The event was rounded up with a styling challenge and fashion show which featured pieces from their Fall 2014 collection:


 Super digging all the different colored sweaters paired with mini skirts!

Wanna win a P21,000.00 shopping spree at Forever 21?

Use your Mastercard to shop at least P2,500 worth of items at any Forever 21 branch 'til October 31, 2014 to get a raffle ticket for a chance to win!


nars x phillip lim nail collection

Also released this Fall 2014 is the new nail lacquers created by NARS in collaboration with famed fashion designer, Phillip Lim.


The 3.1 Phillip Lim for NARS Nail collection includes 9 limited edition colors that are inspired by the "colors that exist in the shadows":

  • ANARCHY - angora
  • OTHER SIDE - bitter chocolate
  • HELL-BENT - lacquer red
  • WRONG TURN - graphite
  • GOLD VIPER - champagne
  • DARK ROOM - blue denim
  • SHUTTER - black sea green
  • CROSSROADS - african violet
  • INSIDIOUS - black bronze

The mood of the season is modern and these lacquers  come in a long-lasting high-gloss formula in rich jewel tones and contrasting neutral shades.


Just like all previous nail lacquers by NARS, these  glide on effortlessly and are hyper pigmented. 2 coats are more than enough plus the newly designed "flat brush" make even application a cinch!

SRP: 1050

h&m philippines opening - get gc's + more!

Friday, September 26, 2014

A lot of you have been asking and now I finally have the answer!

The opening date of the first ever H&M store in the Philippines is on....October 17, 2014!!!

And guess what? To add to the excitement, the gorgeous 3,000 sq.m boutique at SM's Mega Fashion Hall will be open on that day from 9am 'til (get this..) 12 midnight (!!!) so we all get a chance to satiate that long hunger and craving we've been bearing for the goodness that is H&M!!!


What to expect?

For women:
  • launch of autumn/winter 2014 collection with a focus on the modern-day bohemian woman, presenting playful prints, earthy colors and flowy silhouettes + lots of lingerie and affordable active wear (YAY!)
For men:
  • Parisian cool is mixed with the attitude of London and the sleekness of New York to create a wardrobe for the mod urbanite. 
Must check out:

The limited edition H&M Studio line which I was fortunate to get an early preview of (see it here) and is super gorgeoussss!

WIN!!!!

Get a chance to win up to P6000 worth of H&M gift certificates if you're one of the first 200 in line on opening day!

Aside from all that...
also watch out for opening offers and discounts of up to 50% off!!!

Exciting!!! For more, check out the hashtag #HMPhilippines


Trend Towards Personalized Clothing

Made-to-order clothing has increased in demand over the past five years, and consumers are opting for customized, fashionable materials that complement their personalities and lifestyles. Statement pieces have always been popular. However, the demand for unique clothing has shifted to customers who desire to add their personal touch to an outfit. Due to advancements in technology, many clothing companies are now offering opportunities for customers to design their garments online. The most popular styles of clothing that are attractive pieces and suitable for custom designs are T-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts, hats and jerseys. You can find these styles for women, men, children and infants. In addition to customers who purchase made-to-order clothing to add to their own personal wardrobe or give to a loved one, a wide variety of organizations such as schools, nonprofit companies and sports teams sponsor fundraisers and order customized garments; families even place orders to wear during family gatherings, reunions or other special events. Easily accessible online tools are great for individuals who want to upload an image from their personal collection and order as many pieces of clothing as possible. For instance, you can add a logo, use a picture of a family member or create your own clipart image. 


Consider some of the established companies in the industry that offer top brand-name variations of shirts for custom-designed prints, such as Shirt Magic sweatshirts. While capitalizing on an innovative way to sell comfortable clothing made of quality, brand-name materials, these companies provide convenient online tools that allow customers to upload their favorite images and add personal messages to specific sizes and colors of clothing. They also provide methods for customers to set up an account online and save any creations for future use. This means that you can begin designing an item and come back to it later before finalizing your purchase. You can order one or a few personalized items or request a bulk order of several different styles and sizes. It beneficial for people who want to communicate a message to the public or look great in customized styles with friends and family. 

this kid makes me want to cry

Thursday, September 25, 2014


In life, there are two kinds of people: "Kid People" and "Adult People". Some just seem to be born with a chromosome that makes them understand and want to be around children all the time while others don't. I don't.

I have never been a kid person. 

The reason why we only have one kid is because we both don't want to go through the nightmare again of having a baby in the house. It's loud, messy, tiring and nerve-wracking. A baby's cry has a way of resonating itself into the center of my brain resulting in stress bombs that explode and spread all over my cranium to create an instant migraine that leaves a constant throbbing in my temple all day.

But don't get me wrong, I'm not entirely anti-baby. Our daughter was the best thing that happened to us. There were many difficult days but the good days exponentially surpassed that all... 
The first time I saw her smile, the first time she gripped my finger, her first diaper change, the funny faces she would make when she's pooping, how she would run around the house with her arm extended so she wouldn't bump into corners (a little trick she developed herself after numerous accidents with the kitchen counter :P), she was (and still is) such an adorable little baby filled with character that I can't help but smile as I write and relive those memories.

Despite all that, at the back of my head, I can still hear those high-pitched screams that never fail to rattle me....

Wait, that wasn't my imagination, it's here, now and coming from the kitchen!

Yes. since two weeks ago, I have been forced to endure the constant wailing and destruction of a toddler approaching his terrible twos and it's not even mine (insert crying emoticon here).

Here's the prelogue:

About a month ago, our maid discovered that her husband was cheating on her with their neighbor. She went home, confronted the bitch, got into a wild fight (complete with death threats and policemen, the whole shebang), called it quits and came back here seething. She was done and wanted nothing to do with him.

The dilemma was that both of their kids were staying with him and her in-laws. As if this wasn't enough to get her reeling, they would also call twice a week requesting for money to buy milk, diapers and whatnots. In other words, they were squeezing her dry.

I'm all for girl power and shit but when she asked me for permission to allow her little boy to live with us, I wanted to say no, but how could I?

I'm not a cold-hearted bitch but those living arrangements come with an excess baggage of drama.

It's not just the screaming (and believe me this boy doesn't stop, day in, day out all I hear is waaaaah!), it's all the other little things: what if he breaks something, gets into an accident, etc, etc. I don't want to sound selfish but I already have my own fair share of headaches and don't want to add to it.

But like I said, what could I do? I had no choice and now he's here and I am at my wits end!

I work and write mostly from home and it has become almost impossible to accomplish anything with all the crying happening around here. I'm telling you, it's like one minute you're on a roll with all these ideas in your head that you can't type fast enough and then your concentration is broken by a high-pitched squeal and suddenly all those ideas go down the drain replaced by a constant throbbing in your temple that is preventing you from digging down to retrieve them.

It's annoying. What's also annoying is that this kid is spoiled. He refuses to be disciplined and his mom either a) let's it slide or b) can't control him.

Case in point: I caught him playing with the power button of our dvd player yesterday. He kept switching it on and off. I called his attention and told him to stop and that it wasn't a toy. What did he do? He just stood there staring me in the eye with his little finger on the power button. It felt like he was challenging me! He wouldn't budge even when I stood up to approach him. He just stood right there mad-dogging me back. I had to move him away from the player just so he'd stop. And what did he do after that? You guessed it, screamed and cried his lungs out. I have never spanked a child in my entire life but this little bugger tests my patience everyday.

I told his mom about this and she said the reason behind his insolence is because his (stupid) father refused to have anyone discipline him. 

I don't know about you but in my opinion, that is a recipe for disaster. How can you not discipline a child? That is like letting your dog do whatever he wants. Chew your favorite shoe into shreds? No problem. That is unacceptable especially when it's happening under my roof.

Aside from that, her work ethic has been suffering too since a huge chunk of her time is now devoted to taking care of her kid.

Seems like the obvious answer here is to take matters into my own hands but reality is a bit more complicated than that especially considering how terribly onion-skinned our culture is. I can already picture the teleserye-ish drama unfolding: "kinakawawa po kami dun, blah blah blah". Please. 
No thank you. Shit. What do I do?

Add this pile of dung into a wild, emotional rollercoaster ride brought on by a private family matter, stress from numerous work deadlines, piling bills, money matters and what do you have? An even bigger pile of shit.

Excuse me for all the manure references but that is exactly what it feels like :/

Have a nice day everyone, meanwhile, allow me to plug in my earphones and play the loudest music I can find to drown everything out. insert Pantera here.



express yourself: a guide to fashion blogging

A Guide To Fashion Blogging - How To Start A Fashion Blog | Ever-Pretty Infographic
Presented By Ever-Pretty Dresses

top 7 reasons why I love my fujifilm x-m1 (review and unboxing)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I was lent an X-M1 camera by Fujifilm when I visited their office last month to pick up my Instax Share. They have been convincing me to trade my bulky Canon 600D for one of these for quite some time but being the traditional person that I am, this idea was met with a lot of resistance on my part.

My mind couldn't wrap itself around the thought that a tiny, mirrorless camera like this could compete with the picture quality of my trusty DSLR.

I get bored reading specs and quite frankly, I get a headache and don't understand them at all. I know the terms by name: f-stop, aperture, blah blah but I don't really know how they affect my photos in the end, only vaguely.

I usually rely on pure instinct when I program the settings of my cameras.

Long story short, since I had nothing to lose and all to gain + I was honestly getting tired of lugging around a bulky camera with me all the time to events especially during dressier affairs, I finally decided to give in and allow them to loan me a unit.

The significantly smaller size and lighter weight was an immediate relief that I promptly stopped using my Canon. 

The X-M1 was a better fit for my lifestyle STILL, I was a bit apprehensive about trusting it for my OOTD's.

When I finally got around to it, the result left me impressed. Before I knew it, a month passed without me laying a single finger on my 600D.

I loved the loaner unit so much that when the time came to return it, I felt a slight tinge of panic. Dramatic as it may sound, I didn't want to live without it (LOL).

It was that sense of dread that made me withdraw every scent in my bank account to purchase my own X-M1. Although now broke, I have zero regrets. 

Here it is, my new baby:


Each unit comes with a:

  • kit lens
  • x-m1 body
  • camera strap
  • lens flare kit (?!0
  • charger
  • battery
  • cd/printed manual


And now the top 7 reasons why I love this camera so much:

  • The kit lens is amazing. I usually discard kit lenses because of the poor performance + crappy photos but this one produces really sharp images that I don't even feel the need to upgrade straight away.
  • Performs magnificently under low light and high ISO levels. None of the grainy photos + fuzzy outlines I usually get with my Canon when I go past 800 ISO despite using an 18-135mm lens.
  • Lightweight and compact, it fits into most of my bags.
  • vintage camera inspired design.
  • Photos always come out clear and crisp + colors are true to life and I love the "Fuji" look, feel and quality.
  • Mirrorless. This term used to freak me out, I thought it translated to mediocre. That's ignorance. With the X-M1, mirror, no mirror doesn't make much difference plus you don't have to worry about the number of actuations and having to take it in for service after reaching its quota because this one doesn't have any. (YAY, longer lifespan).


  • And lastly, although quite important is that it's less embarrassing to shoot outdoor OOTDs in public because the small size makes it feel less obtrusive. I don't need to convince Dennis as much to take photos of me. :P Also perfect as a travel buddy.



Some sample photos, unedited (click to enlarge):







The Fujifilm X-M1 is the best camera purchase I've made in my entire life. 

Wether you're a hobbyist, blogger or someone who simply wants to document travels or take family photos, the Fujifilm X-M1's competitive price combined with it's impeccable quality makes it the top contender in its class.

for more info, you may visit: http://fujifilm.com.ph/ or connect with Fujifilm Philippines socially on Facebook and Instagram (@fujifilmPH) for first dibs on promos!

ps. I think they currently have a BUY 1 X-M1 and get a FREE Instax Share promo

nars fall 2014 color collection: night caller

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The holiday season is all about bold and luxurious colors. Be the party vixen this Fall 2014 with Nars' new color collection: "Night Caller".

It's a sexy smattering of intense colors accentuated with glamorous flecks of gold and rich metallics.

Also worth mentioning are the new matte metal magnetic cases which are not only the ultimate in minimalistic chic but they also allow you to stack your eyeshadows in a neat pile.

So anyway, without further adieu, the Fall 2014 collection:

NARS DUAL-INTENSITY EYESHADOW COLLECTION: DOUBLE OR NOTHING

These new eyeshadows can be applied dry for a sheer. airbrush-like finish or with a dampened brush for an intense, opaque color.

Available in 12 different shades: 
Andromeda (alabaster), Europa (Gossamer pink peach), Dione (Metallic champagne beige), Cassiopeia (Iridescent electric pink), Callisto (Icy pink silver), Desdemona (Rich shimmering burgundy), Himalia (shimmering topaz), Lysithea (shark grey), Sycorax (black), Phoebe (Deep shimmering amethyst), Giove (navy), Subra (Black orchid)

Enough choices to cater to whatever look you might be feeling that day wether its more on the romantic pinks or fierce blacks.

SRP: 1550

nars double or nothing
UNLAWFUL BLUSH: SRP 1550

A subtle version of the longtime cult classic "Orgasm" blush, Unlawful Blush is not so much a bright pink but more of an amber pink with silver pearls. It’s a muted, rosy-brown with warm undertones and silver shimmer and a slight silver sparkle.

Long-lasting with a good color pay-off, this shade goes well with all the bold eye colors this season!

nars unlawful blush
NARS JARDIN PERDU, DOLIMITES DUO EYESHADOW: SRP 1850ea.

Lasts up to 8 hours, these have a buttery texture which makes it easy to apply and blend. Pigmentation is excellent.

nars dolomites duo eyeshadow swatch
Dolomites is a shiny rose quartz and chocolate while Jardin Perdu is a metallic dove gray and amethyst. When translated to the skin, the look is soft, frosted and metallic:

nars jardin perdu duo eyeshadow swatch
NARS NIGHT CALLER EYELINERS: SRP1450
Comes in 4 colors:
  • Night Flight - black with cobalt blue pearl
  • Night Bird - black with purple pearl 
  • Night Clubbing - black with gold pear
  • Night Porter - black with green pearl
nars night caller eyeliner
Long-wearing for up to 10 hours, these new eyeliners are rich and opaque.

All 4 start with a black base but translate to beautiful metallic jewel tones with gold specks once applied:

nars night caller eyeliner swatch
And finally, I saved the best for last...

NARS 20th ANNIVERSARY LIPSTICKS: The Audacious Lipstick Collection which comes in 40 new SKUs which are all named after inspiring women like Audrey, Marlene and Rita.

nars 20th anniversary lipsticks
These lipsticks are to die for, richest pigment I've ever encountered and the new formulation is a dream to apply on the lips!

You a pink person? There's more than enough variants to choose from! Red? Same. Brown? Same.
Endless choices with slightly distinct differences. The question is, how will you narrow down your choice to just one or two?

nars audacious lipstick collection
Just judging by these swatches, you can already tell its rich and luxurious consistency.

nars audacious lipstick  collection swatches
NARS FALL 2014 COLOR COLLECTION is now available at all NARS Boutiques and at The Beauty Source of all Rustans Department Stores nationwide.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

ootd: urban apparel

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Lately, I have been thinking about my personal style and how I'm almost always in black and white and the frequency in which I rotate my clothes. If I wasn't blogging then this probably won't even be an issue but since I am, I can't help but ponder on it and wonder if you guys are thinking or feeling the same way about my ootd's.

And then I realized that I live in the real world where most people don't own as many clothes or go shopping as often and that it is really quite practical to just purchase a few pieces that flatter you in all the right places, are super comfortable to wear and can be worn over and over again.

It's just the thought of being "stuck" that's bothering me a bit but after giving it some thought, I am chalking it up to maturity. At my age, I no longer feel the need to be frivolous, I know what I like and what works on me and I can't blame myself for wanting to dress that way (even if it is 99% of the time).

And owning a closet full of 3 complimentary colors make it really easy to mix and match.

No style post for awhile cause I haven't been attending events much which leaves me with no one to take my photos, I usually just ask Dennis to take a quick snap with my phone and post it on Instagram (@sarahtirona - follow me for more ootds, there are more there right now than here; you can just msg me for brand info if you want).

But yesterday, I was finally able to sched a chill day  with Ana and Tracy so here, a new OOTD :P

We spent the entire day together shopping at the newly renovated Forever 21 store where the dialogue mostly went like this:

5 minutes in: "There's nothing to buy..." | After an hour in at checkout: "Crap, I'm over budget", "Shit, me too!" 

HAHA, the store is just huge and packed with stuff so it can feel a bit overwhelming but there's some pretty nice gems in there, cheap too. I got a nice pair of black pants for lounging that was on sale for only P500.

Aside from shopping, we also had dinner at Ippudo and a much needed pamper session at Beauty and Butter...hence, the foot spa/pedi-ready outfit:

normcore
birkenstock street style
manila's top fashion bloggers
birkenstock philippines
I paired this really cute athletic-inspired "Paris" jersey that I got from the recently opened "Urban Apparel" boutique in Alabang with my favorite Birkenstock Arizona's and origami skirt from Romwe (which I need to put on lockdown for being super overused).

Anyway, about Urban Apparel, have you been? It's pretty cool, it's a mecca of awesome (and quirky) brands from abroad under one roof. They carry UK-based vintage style brand: Tokyo Laundry, Swiss brand: Tally Weijl (which is where my top is from), and also Paris' Fresh Brand to name a few.

If you find yourself at Alabang Town Center, check them out at the G/F. You can also find Urban Apparel boutiques at Marquee Mall Pampanga and soon at Ayala Cebu.

for more info, follow Urban Apparel on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@urbanapparel_PH)

photos by anagonzales.com

paris top from Tally Weijl at Urban Apparel | romwe shorts (see here) | birkenstock arizona | matte folding ray-ban wayfarers from glasses online (see here) | zara bag

Monday, September 29, 2014

watsons wonders: beauty box hair heroes unboxing

You're probably all familiar with sample boxes right? They usually come in a neat 10x6 package loaded with travel sized samples or something close to that...

Now take a look at this Beauty Box by Watsons:


It's the "Hair Heroes" box and it is huge! This box contains more than enough full sized "Hair Wonders" to address all of your hair problems. It's a diverse and generous combination of Watsons' featured hair products for the month: enough to share among your entire family. 

Check out what's inside:


3 large tubs of Salon Professionals Keratin Treatment in Shea Butter, Milk & Honey, Fresh Mint and Vitamin E.
  • These are perfect as an aftercare treatment for colored and damaged hair. Why settle for regular conditioner when you can perform an affordable salon treatment at home?
  • Make it an event! Take turns with your husband/sister/mom and give each other scalp massages as you apply the treatments onto your scalp. It's a wonderful bonding experience, trust me ;)


For a quick and fun makeover sesh at home or to cover up those horrid whites, try Palty Hair Dye from Japan! It has a gentle formula that provides excellent grey coverage and nice color (you can check out my review HERE).

This is definitely one of my favorites from the entire box. This hair dye doesn't only perform well, it's also fun to use.


Aloe Derma Natural Shampoo, Conditioner and Scalp Tonic

Aloe Vera works great on hair and skin problems which is why I always make it a point to have a few fresh potted plants at home. Problem with this is that I get lazy to use the sap sometimes because it can get really messy.

Aloe Derma uses 99.8% certified organic Aloe Vera so you can get the benefits of Aloe without the mess!

Aside from addressing the problem of thinning hair, these products also smell wonderful and luxurious. They remind me of the toiletry set in Shang hotel.

*use all together for optimum results


Gatsby Moving Look Spray - when you need extra hold for that special occasion. Use after wax to keep everything in place all day and night!


Diane Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner - another product from Japan that I'm super excited to try.

Morrocan Argan Oil is one of the best things to ever happen to hair, having it in a shampoo and conditioner that comes in stylish packaging that will look good on your bathroom shelf is just a plus. ;P

But really, what I love is that this moisturizes the hair and scalp without leaving it greasy. Just soft, shiny and bouncy!


L'Oreal Extraordinary Oil - I've heard A LOT of good things about this from my fellow beauty bloggers. Many swear by this product and can't live a day without it. You're supposed to apply 3-4 drops before shampoo, before drying, on dry hair or as a finishing product (I guess you can basically use it anytime you want to :P) 

Glad I'm finally getting the chance to try it myself! (will do a separate review on this soon!)


Toni & Guy "Casual" Forming Spray Gel - ANY Toni & Guy product added to the mix always makes it worthwhile.

The "Casual" line is created for everyday use to create that much coveted, effortless, "just got out of bed" look. Stylishly mussy, just the way I like it!

Spray on damp hair, blow-dry or even just air-dry! AWESOME!


Hair Vitamin Moroccan Argan Oil - like I said, Moroccan Argan Oil is one of the best things to ever happen to hair (AND also the skin). It's best when used in its concentrated form like this:

For hair, place a small amount throughout damp hair and style as usual.

Pure Argan Oil is also great for massages and to use on the face after a peeling session.


And lastly, the product I found most interesting of all is this HairFix Miracle Hair Fiber with Locking Hair Spray.



It's the perfect solution for men and women with thinning hair. 
Judging from what I've read on the back of the box, I think it performs similarly to those fiber mascaras that add length to your lashes.

After washing and drying your hair, spray the Miracle Hair Fiber onto your scalp and follow with the Locking Hair Spray to keep everything in place despite wind or sweat.

If it works anything like the mascaras, then this product is quite a gem and a must-have. Thank god I don't have thinning hair yet but for those of you who do, this just might be the "quick-fix" answer to your problems.

Will give this to my grandma and try to convince her to make me document it so I can show you better how it works in a different post.


There you have it! 
The Hair Heroes for October. 

Which ones are you most eager to try? :)

Make sure to visit the nearest Watsons and check out the irresistible deals on these featured hair products.

for more info, connect with Watsons Philippines on FacebookTwitter and Instagram (@watsonsPH)



online shoe shopping


Keeping the whole family in shoes can sometimes be a challenge. Adults and children need various kinds of work, school and dress shoes, and there are often needs for athletic and casual footwear too. When it comes to kids, it can be especially challenging to keep their shoe needs covered and still stay within a budget, since children outgrow shoes quickly.

Looking online for shoe purchases can be a big help, especially when you check out outlet or other types of online venues that provide a large range of shoe types. While some kinds of shoe purchases will be straightforward, sometimes you need the help of online reviews to assess the workmanship of a given pair of shoes, especially shoes like hiking boots, show boots or running shoes, which will be getting a lot of wear and tear. Those kinds of shoes will often be put to the test in certain situations or terrains, and you’ll want to find out if they’ll stand up to what you or your kids will be putting them through.

When you shop online at places like Sneaker King, you’ll have the chance to look at a variety of shoes for the whole family. You can browse by men’s, women’s or children’s shoes and also search by top brands or particular kinds of sports. Whether you’re looking for hiking boots, moccasins, slippers, canvas or leather boat shoes, sandals, slides or sneakers, you can find them all. These and other online shoe shops for the whole family, such as Famous Footwear or Shoe Gallery Online, provide the opportunity to browse at your leisure and learn about different makes and styles. You can see the latest makes of athletic shoes or the coolest styles in dress shoes. Even if you end up going to a brick and mortar store to try things on, you’ll be armed with the information you need to ask questions about brands, styles and sizes.

Doing your homework online can help make shoe purchasing for your family a little less arduous. You can also sometimes find great discounts and shipping promotions when you purchase online that will help stretch your family shoe budget even further.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

toys r' us at robinsons place antipolo opens!

I am not widely regarded as a "mom-blogger" in our circle, I am always categorized as a styleblogger so I don't often get invited to kiddie events (much to mine and Nikola's disappointment). The few times I do, I make it a point to go even if it's way, way out in the boondocks.

When I got the Toys R' Us invite, I was so excited (you'd think it was ZARA :P), Nikola was too. She asked me if she could skip soccer practice to accompany me. Being that this was a rare occasion, I obliged and we transformed the trek into a fun day trip.

Robinsons Place Antipolo is a bit far from where I live but it doesn't take very long to get there via Marcos Highway and the route turns scenic once you're halfway through Sumulong Highway which is where its located.

This new mall, is pretty and spacious with a big outdoor parking lot surrounded by trees. It really makes you feel like your "out of town" even if you're just a few minutes away from the city.

The mall is divided into several two-storey buildings with outdoor verandas. Toys R' Us can be found in one of these adjacent structures separate from the main shopping center.


Although a bit smaller than the other Toys R' Us branches I've visited, it's still complete with all your favorite brands in stock (as well as those hard to find toys that ALWAYS immediately run out in malls closer to home).

They have a wide selection of affordable Toys R' Us private labels like:
BRUIN, YOU and ME, JUST LIKE HOME, DREAM DAZZLERS, FAST LANE, TRUE HEROES, STATS, EDU SCIENCE, UNIVERSE OF IMAGINATION, ANIMAL ALLEY, and PAVILION (board games, chess sets, tumbling tower and more for lots of fun family time)


And of course, no self-respecting toy store would be complete without these brands in their line-up: TRANSFORMERS, HOTWHEELS, POWER RANGERS, PLAY-DOH, FISHER PRICE, LEAP FROG, MONOPOLY, LEGO, LITTLE TIKES, PLAY-DOH, PLAYSKOOL, DISNEY, MARVEL, SONY PLAYSTATION, BARBIE, X-BOX, DISNEY INFINITY and a lot more!


Me, I was drawn towards these:

darn YARN!

I have always wanted to learn how to knit and my recent obsession (and success :P)with the Rainbow Loom has boosted my confidence ten-fold. I think I'm ready to conquer the yarn.
This kit will probably be the new fad for moms who want to graduate from rubber bands. :P


Nikola is still in her Rainbow Loom stage and was pretty much pre-occupied the entire time making bracelets at the special Rainbow Loom booth that was set up for us during the event.


It's so much fun to be able to "bring your kid along to work with you" and we both wish to be invited to more mom-daughter bonding events like this. :P

If you live in the Antipolo area, Robinsons Place is a nice new venue to take the family out for lunch and shopping. If you're far away like me, it's still a nice place to go when you feel like escaping from the city for a few hours.

And of course, while you're there, make sure to drop by the new Toys R' Us with your kids. :)

for more info, visit: www.toysrus.com.ph or connect with Toys R' Us Philippines socially on Facebook and Twitter (@toysRusPH) for first dibs on promos and fun events like this!


Five Practical Tools that you may never have heard of

You may be familiar with household DIY, or a complete novice, but there are a few tools that you may find practical and helpful and not be fully aware of. It could just be that you may be able to make good use of these tools at some point. 
It may seem obvious that if you’ve got a job that needs doing you have to obtain the correct tools to complete the job successfully. But if you’re not aware that certain tools exist then this may not be as easy as it seems. So what sort of less well-known tools may prove useful to you?
Different uses for a squeegee 
Most people have probably used a squeegee as a cleaning utensil, but is that the only use for the item? It may surprise you to know that you can also use a squeegee to create great paint effects on the walls of your home. All you need to do is spread the paint with the edge of the squeegee. To create a pattern in the paint all you need to do is use scissors to cut pieces out of the edge of the squeegee. 
Surviving with a rescue tool
This small and easy to carry tool is ideal for use in an emergency situation, as well as for general DIY tasks such as prising open doors that are jammed. Most often carried by members of the emergency services, they are an ideal tool to have at hand, if only for their flexibility of use. 
Using a tap and die set
Have you ever needed to make a screw hole so that you can attach items to each other, during a DIY task? If this is the case then you really need a tap and die set. The tapping aspect allows you to create threads in a smooth hole; it also allows you to carefully measure the threads per inch (TPI) so that you make sure the screw fits the hole. On the other hand, a die set gives you the option to create screws to use from smooth pieces of metal. 
A powerful chisel
If you’ve ever had to put real power into using a chisel then you know it can be hard work. What you may not know is that you can actually use a power chisel to take some of the pressure off. It’s a very noisy tool to use but it expends a lot less energy than a normal chisel. 
An old-fashioned adze 
Following on from the power chisel, a very modern day tool, is the traditional adze. The adze has been in use since the days of Ancient Egypt and it still has a place in today’s world, especially in the completion of traditional workmanship. The blade of the adze, which is similar to that of an axe, is used in the shaping of tree trunks to be used as beams in wood constructions. 
From traditional to contemporary, all of these tools can prove very useful if you have tasks to complete around the home. 




Saturday, September 27, 2014

first and forever: forever 21 gets a hip makeover

Do you remember what life was like before the first Forever 21 store opened in the Philippines? Seems like so long ago but it's actually been just 4 years.

Before this fast-fashion retail giant decided to open its doors here, it was so difficult to find affordable and current, trendy items.

You'd either have to scour through thrift stores or order abroad online.

Now, we're so spoiled with choices. Wether your heart is set on getting a cute graphic sweater, a coat for an upcoming trip, leather errthing, all you have to do is drop into the closest Forever 21 branch and you'll be able to duplicate your favorite style blogger's look in hardly any time at all.

With the newly renovated Forever 21 branch at SM Megamall, shopping has gotten even more convenient with its spanking new modern interiors that give off a sleek and clean look. It makes it a hundred times easier to spot the clothes you want.

The relaunch was held a couple of days ago and here are some pics of the event:

Which also happened to be a first time hosting stint for Martine Cajucom. The girl pulled it off flawlessly in a slouchy suit paired with some 90s inspired platforms. Definitely up my alley! Love this girl's style...


The guests who came were also looking super adorable:
(check out the mini Grace Coddington in her dark shades :))


The event was rounded up with a styling challenge and fashion show which featured pieces from their Fall 2014 collection:


 Super digging all the different colored sweaters paired with mini skirts!

Wanna win a P21,000.00 shopping spree at Forever 21?

Use your Mastercard to shop at least P2,500 worth of items at any Forever 21 branch 'til October 31, 2014 to get a raffle ticket for a chance to win!


nars x phillip lim nail collection

Also released this Fall 2014 is the new nail lacquers created by NARS in collaboration with famed fashion designer, Phillip Lim.


The 3.1 Phillip Lim for NARS Nail collection includes 9 limited edition colors that are inspired by the "colors that exist in the shadows":

  • ANARCHY - angora
  • OTHER SIDE - bitter chocolate
  • HELL-BENT - lacquer red
  • WRONG TURN - graphite
  • GOLD VIPER - champagne
  • DARK ROOM - blue denim
  • SHUTTER - black sea green
  • CROSSROADS - african violet
  • INSIDIOUS - black bronze

The mood of the season is modern and these lacquers  come in a long-lasting high-gloss formula in rich jewel tones and contrasting neutral shades.


Just like all previous nail lacquers by NARS, these  glide on effortlessly and are hyper pigmented. 2 coats are more than enough plus the newly designed "flat brush" make even application a cinch!

SRP: 1050

Friday, September 26, 2014

h&m philippines opening - get gc's + more!

A lot of you have been asking and now I finally have the answer!

The opening date of the first ever H&M store in the Philippines is on....October 17, 2014!!!

And guess what? To add to the excitement, the gorgeous 3,000 sq.m boutique at SM's Mega Fashion Hall will be open on that day from 9am 'til (get this..) 12 midnight (!!!) so we all get a chance to satiate that long hunger and craving we've been bearing for the goodness that is H&M!!!


What to expect?

For women:
  • launch of autumn/winter 2014 collection with a focus on the modern-day bohemian woman, presenting playful prints, earthy colors and flowy silhouettes + lots of lingerie and affordable active wear (YAY!)
For men:
  • Parisian cool is mixed with the attitude of London and the sleekness of New York to create a wardrobe for the mod urbanite. 
Must check out:

The limited edition H&M Studio line which I was fortunate to get an early preview of (see it here) and is super gorgeoussss!

WIN!!!!

Get a chance to win up to P6000 worth of H&M gift certificates if you're one of the first 200 in line on opening day!

Aside from all that...
also watch out for opening offers and discounts of up to 50% off!!!

Exciting!!! For more, check out the hashtag #HMPhilippines


Trend Towards Personalized Clothing

Made-to-order clothing has increased in demand over the past five years, and consumers are opting for customized, fashionable materials that complement their personalities and lifestyles. Statement pieces have always been popular. However, the demand for unique clothing has shifted to customers who desire to add their personal touch to an outfit. Due to advancements in technology, many clothing companies are now offering opportunities for customers to design their garments online. The most popular styles of clothing that are attractive pieces and suitable for custom designs are T-shirts, sweatshirts, polo shirts, hats and jerseys. You can find these styles for women, men, children and infants. In addition to customers who purchase made-to-order clothing to add to their own personal wardrobe or give to a loved one, a wide variety of organizations such as schools, nonprofit companies and sports teams sponsor fundraisers and order customized garments; families even place orders to wear during family gatherings, reunions or other special events. Easily accessible online tools are great for individuals who want to upload an image from their personal collection and order as many pieces of clothing as possible. For instance, you can add a logo, use a picture of a family member or create your own clipart image. 


Consider some of the established companies in the industry that offer top brand-name variations of shirts for custom-designed prints, such as Shirt Magic sweatshirts. While capitalizing on an innovative way to sell comfortable clothing made of quality, brand-name materials, these companies provide convenient online tools that allow customers to upload their favorite images and add personal messages to specific sizes and colors of clothing. They also provide methods for customers to set up an account online and save any creations for future use. This means that you can begin designing an item and come back to it later before finalizing your purchase. You can order one or a few personalized items or request a bulk order of several different styles and sizes. It beneficial for people who want to communicate a message to the public or look great in customized styles with friends and family. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

this kid makes me want to cry


In life, there are two kinds of people: "Kid People" and "Adult People". Some just seem to be born with a chromosome that makes them understand and want to be around children all the time while others don't. I don't.

I have never been a kid person. 

The reason why we only have one kid is because we both don't want to go through the nightmare again of having a baby in the house. It's loud, messy, tiring and nerve-wracking. A baby's cry has a way of resonating itself into the center of my brain resulting in stress bombs that explode and spread all over my cranium to create an instant migraine that leaves a constant throbbing in my temple all day.

But don't get me wrong, I'm not entirely anti-baby. Our daughter was the best thing that happened to us. There were many difficult days but the good days exponentially surpassed that all... 
The first time I saw her smile, the first time she gripped my finger, her first diaper change, the funny faces she would make when she's pooping, how she would run around the house with her arm extended so she wouldn't bump into corners (a little trick she developed herself after numerous accidents with the kitchen counter :P), she was (and still is) such an adorable little baby filled with character that I can't help but smile as I write and relive those memories.

Despite all that, at the back of my head, I can still hear those high-pitched screams that never fail to rattle me....

Wait, that wasn't my imagination, it's here, now and coming from the kitchen!

Yes. since two weeks ago, I have been forced to endure the constant wailing and destruction of a toddler approaching his terrible twos and it's not even mine (insert crying emoticon here).

Here's the prelogue:

About a month ago, our maid discovered that her husband was cheating on her with their neighbor. She went home, confronted the bitch, got into a wild fight (complete with death threats and policemen, the whole shebang), called it quits and came back here seething. She was done and wanted nothing to do with him.

The dilemma was that both of their kids were staying with him and her in-laws. As if this wasn't enough to get her reeling, they would also call twice a week requesting for money to buy milk, diapers and whatnots. In other words, they were squeezing her dry.

I'm all for girl power and shit but when she asked me for permission to allow her little boy to live with us, I wanted to say no, but how could I?

I'm not a cold-hearted bitch but those living arrangements come with an excess baggage of drama.

It's not just the screaming (and believe me this boy doesn't stop, day in, day out all I hear is waaaaah!), it's all the other little things: what if he breaks something, gets into an accident, etc, etc. I don't want to sound selfish but I already have my own fair share of headaches and don't want to add to it.

But like I said, what could I do? I had no choice and now he's here and I am at my wits end!

I work and write mostly from home and it has become almost impossible to accomplish anything with all the crying happening around here. I'm telling you, it's like one minute you're on a roll with all these ideas in your head that you can't type fast enough and then your concentration is broken by a high-pitched squeal and suddenly all those ideas go down the drain replaced by a constant throbbing in your temple that is preventing you from digging down to retrieve them.

It's annoying. What's also annoying is that this kid is spoiled. He refuses to be disciplined and his mom either a) let's it slide or b) can't control him.

Case in point: I caught him playing with the power button of our dvd player yesterday. He kept switching it on and off. I called his attention and told him to stop and that it wasn't a toy. What did he do? He just stood there staring me in the eye with his little finger on the power button. It felt like he was challenging me! He wouldn't budge even when I stood up to approach him. He just stood right there mad-dogging me back. I had to move him away from the player just so he'd stop. And what did he do after that? You guessed it, screamed and cried his lungs out. I have never spanked a child in my entire life but this little bugger tests my patience everyday.

I told his mom about this and she said the reason behind his insolence is because his (stupid) father refused to have anyone discipline him. 

I don't know about you but in my opinion, that is a recipe for disaster. How can you not discipline a child? That is like letting your dog do whatever he wants. Chew your favorite shoe into shreds? No problem. That is unacceptable especially when it's happening under my roof.

Aside from that, her work ethic has been suffering too since a huge chunk of her time is now devoted to taking care of her kid.

Seems like the obvious answer here is to take matters into my own hands but reality is a bit more complicated than that especially considering how terribly onion-skinned our culture is. I can already picture the teleserye-ish drama unfolding: "kinakawawa po kami dun, blah blah blah". Please. 
No thank you. Shit. What do I do?

Add this pile of dung into a wild, emotional rollercoaster ride brought on by a private family matter, stress from numerous work deadlines, piling bills, money matters and what do you have? An even bigger pile of shit.

Excuse me for all the manure references but that is exactly what it feels like :/

Have a nice day everyone, meanwhile, allow me to plug in my earphones and play the loudest music I can find to drown everything out. insert Pantera here.



express yourself: a guide to fashion blogging

A Guide To Fashion Blogging - How To Start A Fashion Blog | Ever-Pretty Infographic
Presented By Ever-Pretty Dresses

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

top 7 reasons why I love my fujifilm x-m1 (review and unboxing)

I was lent an X-M1 camera by Fujifilm when I visited their office last month to pick up my Instax Share. They have been convincing me to trade my bulky Canon 600D for one of these for quite some time but being the traditional person that I am, this idea was met with a lot of resistance on my part.

My mind couldn't wrap itself around the thought that a tiny, mirrorless camera like this could compete with the picture quality of my trusty DSLR.

I get bored reading specs and quite frankly, I get a headache and don't understand them at all. I know the terms by name: f-stop, aperture, blah blah but I don't really know how they affect my photos in the end, only vaguely.

I usually rely on pure instinct when I program the settings of my cameras.

Long story short, since I had nothing to lose and all to gain + I was honestly getting tired of lugging around a bulky camera with me all the time to events especially during dressier affairs, I finally decided to give in and allow them to loan me a unit.

The significantly smaller size and lighter weight was an immediate relief that I promptly stopped using my Canon. 

The X-M1 was a better fit for my lifestyle STILL, I was a bit apprehensive about trusting it for my OOTD's.

When I finally got around to it, the result left me impressed. Before I knew it, a month passed without me laying a single finger on my 600D.

I loved the loaner unit so much that when the time came to return it, I felt a slight tinge of panic. Dramatic as it may sound, I didn't want to live without it (LOL).

It was that sense of dread that made me withdraw every scent in my bank account to purchase my own X-M1. Although now broke, I have zero regrets. 

Here it is, my new baby:


Each unit comes with a:

  • kit lens
  • x-m1 body
  • camera strap
  • lens flare kit (?!0
  • charger
  • battery
  • cd/printed manual


And now the top 7 reasons why I love this camera so much:

  • The kit lens is amazing. I usually discard kit lenses because of the poor performance + crappy photos but this one produces really sharp images that I don't even feel the need to upgrade straight away.
  • Performs magnificently under low light and high ISO levels. None of the grainy photos + fuzzy outlines I usually get with my Canon when I go past 800 ISO despite using an 18-135mm lens.
  • Lightweight and compact, it fits into most of my bags.
  • vintage camera inspired design.
  • Photos always come out clear and crisp + colors are true to life and I love the "Fuji" look, feel and quality.
  • Mirrorless. This term used to freak me out, I thought it translated to mediocre. That's ignorance. With the X-M1, mirror, no mirror doesn't make much difference plus you don't have to worry about the number of actuations and having to take it in for service after reaching its quota because this one doesn't have any. (YAY, longer lifespan).


  • And lastly, although quite important is that it's less embarrassing to shoot outdoor OOTDs in public because the small size makes it feel less obtrusive. I don't need to convince Dennis as much to take photos of me. :P Also perfect as a travel buddy.



Some sample photos, unedited (click to enlarge):







The Fujifilm X-M1 is the best camera purchase I've made in my entire life. 

Wether you're a hobbyist, blogger or someone who simply wants to document travels or take family photos, the Fujifilm X-M1's competitive price combined with it's impeccable quality makes it the top contender in its class.

for more info, you may visit: http://fujifilm.com.ph/ or connect with Fujifilm Philippines socially on Facebook and Instagram (@fujifilmPH) for first dibs on promos!

ps. I think they currently have a BUY 1 X-M1 and get a FREE Instax Share promo

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

nars fall 2014 color collection: night caller

The holiday season is all about bold and luxurious colors. Be the party vixen this Fall 2014 with Nars' new color collection: "Night Caller".

It's a sexy smattering of intense colors accentuated with glamorous flecks of gold and rich metallics.

Also worth mentioning are the new matte metal magnetic cases which are not only the ultimate in minimalistic chic but they also allow you to stack your eyeshadows in a neat pile.

So anyway, without further adieu, the Fall 2014 collection:

NARS DUAL-INTENSITY EYESHADOW COLLECTION: DOUBLE OR NOTHING

These new eyeshadows can be applied dry for a sheer. airbrush-like finish or with a dampened brush for an intense, opaque color.

Available in 12 different shades: 
Andromeda (alabaster), Europa (Gossamer pink peach), Dione (Metallic champagne beige), Cassiopeia (Iridescent electric pink), Callisto (Icy pink silver), Desdemona (Rich shimmering burgundy), Himalia (shimmering topaz), Lysithea (shark grey), Sycorax (black), Phoebe (Deep shimmering amethyst), Giove (navy), Subra (Black orchid)

Enough choices to cater to whatever look you might be feeling that day wether its more on the romantic pinks or fierce blacks.

SRP: 1550

nars double or nothing
UNLAWFUL BLUSH: SRP 1550

A subtle version of the longtime cult classic "Orgasm" blush, Unlawful Blush is not so much a bright pink but more of an amber pink with silver pearls. It’s a muted, rosy-brown with warm undertones and silver shimmer and a slight silver sparkle.

Long-lasting with a good color pay-off, this shade goes well with all the bold eye colors this season!

nars unlawful blush
NARS JARDIN PERDU, DOLIMITES DUO EYESHADOW: SRP 1850ea.

Lasts up to 8 hours, these have a buttery texture which makes it easy to apply and blend. Pigmentation is excellent.

nars dolomites duo eyeshadow swatch
Dolomites is a shiny rose quartz and chocolate while Jardin Perdu is a metallic dove gray and amethyst. When translated to the skin, the look is soft, frosted and metallic:

nars jardin perdu duo eyeshadow swatch
NARS NIGHT CALLER EYELINERS: SRP1450
Comes in 4 colors:
  • Night Flight - black with cobalt blue pearl
  • Night Bird - black with purple pearl 
  • Night Clubbing - black with gold pear
  • Night Porter - black with green pearl
nars night caller eyeliner
Long-wearing for up to 10 hours, these new eyeliners are rich and opaque.

All 4 start with a black base but translate to beautiful metallic jewel tones with gold specks once applied:

nars night caller eyeliner swatch
And finally, I saved the best for last...

NARS 20th ANNIVERSARY LIPSTICKS: The Audacious Lipstick Collection which comes in 40 new SKUs which are all named after inspiring women like Audrey, Marlene and Rita.

nars 20th anniversary lipsticks
These lipsticks are to die for, richest pigment I've ever encountered and the new formulation is a dream to apply on the lips!

You a pink person? There's more than enough variants to choose from! Red? Same. Brown? Same.
Endless choices with slightly distinct differences. The question is, how will you narrow down your choice to just one or two?

nars audacious lipstick collection
Just judging by these swatches, you can already tell its rich and luxurious consistency.

nars audacious lipstick  collection swatches
NARS FALL 2014 COLOR COLLECTION is now available at all NARS Boutiques and at The Beauty Source of all Rustans Department Stores nationwide.