Thursday, December 31, 2009

how to ... start the new year right!

New York decided to end the year with a whole lotta snow leaving me with a bit of a fashion crisis. What am I gonna wear tonight?!? How will I trek through the snow to catch a cab, walk down the pier, and onto the party yacht without falling on my butt and ruining my glam outfit? Oh the pains of going for a glamorous night out in the big bad, gritty city of New York ...

I will probably just wear a few sparkly things and call it a day. What's most important is spending New Year's Eve with some lovely friends at a fun location and sporting a bright and positive attitude for the New Year to come. I am so over 2009. Let's get started 2010!

Outfit by Club Monaco, glitzy champagne by Möet & Chandon, 2010 glasses at, Christian Louboutin heels at Net-a-porter, She's Better Than You headband at

I've got a feeling that tonight's gonna be a good night!

Wishing you all a fabulous end to 2009 and a fun and fearless 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

once in a blue moon

I woke up today with a text message from my dearest friend Katrina saying,

"It's full moon blue moon tomorrow night Dec 31, full on double whammy power by Jan 1. Write your wishes, be super specific for 2010 and then burn by full moon light and send smoke up to heaven ... worth a try!"

We all know the expression "once in a blue moon." We usually say it in reference to things that occur very rarely. A blue moon is actually defined as a full moon that doesn't occur in the regular monthly pattern. A full moon comes approximately every 29 days so in a calendar year, we usually get 12 full moons. But at some point (every 2 to 3 years), we end up with an extra moon in the calendar year, and this is what's referred to as a blue moon. (If my explanation's too confusing, read this Wiki entry and this CNN article.)

This year, not only are we getting a blue moon, but we're getting one on New Year's Eve! According to this website, the full moon in New York is at 17:13. I am definitely writing up a wish list of things that I want to happen in 2010. Why not? You never know!

What are you wishing for this 2010?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

monday night bingo at tortilla flats

I wouldn't have come out last night if it hadn't been Kathryn's birthday. I took the red-eye back to New York from Seattle on Sunday and felt like death by the time I wandered out of work Monday evening. But I am a trooper, if nothing else, so off I went to Tortilla Flats for Tex-Mex, margaritas and Monday night Bingo. I'm so glad I went, it is SO FUN. Each person gets one Bingo board, and if someone in your table wins, your whole party gets free tequila shots. The winner also gets a Tortilla Flats t-shirt and some other trinkets but let's be honest, we're all in it for the possibility of tequila. They do Bingo night on Mondays and Tuesdays, but Kim says the Monday host is way better. He's hysterical! Trivia Night on Sundays is supposedly also a real hoot, and you get a free shot for every answer you get right.

The interiors are wildly kitschy, with every square inch festooned with Elvis memorabilia and shiny party streamers. The food is pretty good and reasonably priced. For $12.95, I gorged on two chicken enchiladas coated with salsa verde and melted cheese yumminess. The margaritas are delicious and stealthily strong. I am still recovering from my hangover as I type. While most New York establishments are slow on Mondays, Tortilla Flats is packed so reservations are highly recommended.

Can't wait for the next Bingo night!

Tortilla Flats is located at 767 Washington St. (at 12th Street), New York, NY 10014. Tel. 212-243-1053

Saturday, December 26, 2009

today i'm loving: see by chloe on ideeli

So many pretty little things by See by Chloe on Ideeli today. Loving the little dresses with pretty bows and flounces particularly. The cheery mustard color of the dress above caught my eye straightaway. These dresses are on sale for $169 each, which is still steep for me but good prices for this brand. I'd rather spend that money on a cozy new duvet cover for my new digs. Just a few more days and it's a fresh start for me!

Not on Ideeli yet? Click here to join.

Have a great time at the after-Christmas sales!

Friday, December 25, 2009

i love you goodbye

My dear Filipino readers, especially ones like me who are living away from the motherland, please indulge me for a second with this post as I have been watching nothing but TFC for the last four days ... have you seen the trailer for I Love You Goodbye? Are you dying to watch it as much as I am?

Can't believe what a gorgeous young woman Angelica Panganiban turned out to be. Still can't help but think of her as this wide-eyed child star and now she's acting in roles like these! I have to say though, I am still thoroughly creeped out by her pairing with Gabby Concepcion. She must be even younger than his real-life daughter KC! Gah! Kinikilabutan ako. But then again, I guess that's what the plot is right? Girl falls in love with much older man, then falls harder for a man her age who lets her go because he feels inferior to the much more successful older man, older man proposes to girl who accepts, girl meets older man's daughter who's just about her age, and then meets daughter's beau who is ... gasp! Her lost love who is still madly in love with her! Did you follow that or did I lose you? Oh the twists and turns of Philippine cinema ...

I wish I could see this movie as soon as it comes out! The pittfalls of being overseas sometimes ...

merry christmas!

Hope you got everything you wanted this year!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

holiday rants and raves

Image via Anthropologie

Oh USPS, how you've foiled my ingenious (or so it seemed at the time) plan to avoid stores at all costs and just order all my gifts online. Amazon proved to be a wonderful ally in this quest. At least the gifts that I ordered for my little sister and my little niece arrived well ahead of Christmas (in my niece's case, the video games that I ordered on the 18th actually made it to her by the 23rd despite a shipping estimate of December 29. Hoorah!). My Brookstone order, however, failed miserably! Despite those reassuring "Guaranteed Holiday Delivery" banners, I found out today, on the eve of Christmas, that my order had been rescheduled to arrive on December 29, 2009. Brookstone washed its hands off any responsibility, of course, saying that they had sent out my order on the same day I placed it but it was USPS that had rescheduled the ship date. Whoever's fault it is, I will never believe in the words "Guaranteed Holiday Delivery" ever again!

So tonight I'm waltzing into Christmas Eve dinner with just half of my presents. Haven't really got the energy to duke it out today at the mall because I'm still recovering from the flu. Fortunately I have a pretty laid back family. My mom insisted I just tell everyone what happened and distribute the gifts when they arrive. "What's more important to them is that you're here," she said, and I actually believe that's true.

Sorry for starting the holidays off in a rant but I've had a rough one so far. I got bogged down with the flu as soon as I got to Seattle, and now this! But despite feeling like I got hit by an 18-wheeler, it's been wonderful to be taken care of by my mom while I'm sick (it's the best thing in the world!) and to be surrounded by so many loved ones who will brave my germs just for a long overdue hug. It makes my heart feel full.

It's not the most perfect Christmas ever, but definitely one of my happiest. The wonderful gift that I've received this year is knowing and appreciating exactly who and what I have in my life, and being appreciative of and content with it. I am surrounded by so much love and light, and no flu or USPS fiascos will get my spirits down.

I hope that you are having a wonderful Christmas as well!

Monday, December 21, 2009

byebye tai

I wouldn't call myself a big Brittany Murphy fan but Clueless has always been and always will be one of my favorite movies ever, and it would not have been the same without her. You just had to fall in love with her innocent and unassuming portrayal of Tai. Never saw her like that again in her succeeding movies and was truthfully sad about how she seemed to have turned into a completely different person after Clueless. This hilarious scene from the movie is a great way to remember her by.

today i'm loving: topshop's magic window

I'm a lazy shopper. I hate having to look for something in a store, which is why I do so poorly at sales. What I hate even more is seeing something amazing in a store window and not being able to find it anywhere inside. So frustrating! So I think Topshop's Magic Windows schtick is pretty cool. Cause you can just click on the outfit of your choice, and it takes you straight to the outfit you want to buy. Genius!

In other news, what do you think of this whole ode to the Gianni Versace era going on in Topshop, as seen above? The lionheads and chains seem to be back in full force! As always, I hesitate when it comes to trends that I witnessed the first time around ... but who knows, I could be rocking them gold lion heads before you know it! Thoughts?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

the calm before the storm

... although if we're talking figuratively, this picture is really more like the calm after the storm. I went through a beating the last couple of months, but I'm starting to see the bright and beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. My friend Dante took this picture of me sitting on the stoop while we were moving some of my stuff out yesterday. It'll be a nice way to remember my pretty little stoop by. The snow had just started to fall and there was a moment of peace there right before New York got pummeled with the snowstorm.

The holiday craziness has officially begun. Other than the moving, my weekend also involved partying with peacekeepers and barbequing during the blizzard (bizarre but true). Tomorrow, I'm off to Seattle for Christmas and lots of food and coffee with the family. In a blink of an eye, it'll be 2010. Can't wait!

Hope the holiday shopping rush hasn't driven you nuts yet! Good luck and party on!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

how to ... get your party hat on!

Seeing this picture on the Bebe website got me thinking that I need to kick off the New Year with some tulle and feathers. I know, I know, we're not even past Christmas yet, but you gotta get a headstart on these things. I've been the girl running around stores for a New Year's Eve outfit on December 31st, 6PM, and it is not fun.

The most glamorous options are definitely over at's Black Label collection. Handmade, festooned with sparkling vintage jewels, and just chic, chic, chic. Gotta love the names for each style too. The top one is called "Last Night in London" while the bottom one is "Her Name Is Lola." But they're quite steeply priced at $200. Not sure I want to spend that on something that, let's face it, I will likely spill champagne over or lose in the craziness of New Year's Eve (or so I hope).

The most realistic options for me are these very pretty little things by Deena & Ozzie at Urban Outfitters. Both offer sufficient oomph at just $34 a piece. With a glittery little dress and some fur to keep cozy, I gotta feeling it's gonna be a good night!

Are you ready for the holidays?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

noncommittal in bed

I've been grappling with how to do my new bed. At first I wanted über feminine pink sheets, these Rubie Green ones in particular, but they're holding off on production right now because of quality issues. BOO. So then I thought I wanted to do an all white bed ... until I remembered this feature that ran in Bluprint back in the day and revisited the story on the Martha Stewart website. Meet the noncommittal bed:

I'm particularly in love with the bright, modern look of the bed on the left. But I also definitely see myself having an obsessive compulsive moment and wanting one color theme all of a sudden. A noncommittal bed ... just what a single gal needs need for a bright, fresh start ...

PS: Holy mother-frickety-f*ck! That orange throw, just that throw, is $295 at Jonathan Adler! It's gonna be a bright and broke start if I get one ...

what would coco say?

The other night, I was at my friend Bads's apartment and she showed me one of her favorite books, What Would Jackie Do? I happened to flip to a page that talked about how the late great Jackie O felt about strong nail colors. The passage said that later in her life, Jackie liked to have her toes done in a sassy fuchsia but that, "some hues—green for one, according to Coco Chanel—look horrible against the skin, so go for flesh-flattering shades instead." Oh no ... Madame Coco must be turning in her grave over the Chanel jade nailcolor that was sported by all the models during the Chanel Fall 2009 show. Then again, Coco was also big on business. I'm sure she wouldn't mind if she knew that fashion enthusiasts were so smitten with this minty green shade that there was a waitlist for this polish ...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

on my new home wishlist: roberts revival radio

Moving—particularly moving because of the end of a relationship—is not a lot of fun. But it has to be done. I think I'm getting by pretty well considering my life got flipped upside down. What's brought me a measure of comfort is thinking about how much fun it'll be to decorate my new digs—this time not taking into account what baggage someone else is literally dragging in. I want my new place to be fresh, airy and incredibly feminine, and I've been searching for a sound system that'll fit the bill. I think I've finally found one, though it may entail scrounging together pennies and subsisting on bread for a few months with its $328 pricetag.

Is this baby blue Roberts Revival Radio from Anthropologie just absolute perfection or what? I love the vintage 1950s look, beautiful leather case and gold plated metal fittings. It looks like a blast from the past but it's actually MP3 compatible. It can run on batteries for 1120 hours, but also has a DC input socket. Of course it's also a working radio with auto tune. It also comes in black and red but I'm quite in love with the baby blue.

Thank god for beautiful things. It's tough to feel down when life keeps bringing so much loveliness your way!

Monday, December 14, 2009

gift ideas: adorable christmas sweets

Aren't these the most adorable s'mores you've ever seen?

Williams-Sonoma has enlisted Two Hearts Bakery in San Francisco to create these cuties for them. A fresh marshmallow flavored with Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon vanilla is tucked in between graham crackers dipped in Guittard milk and dark chocolate. I'm definitely getting these for some aunts as a cute little Christmas present. They're only available online, which works for me because I refuse to join the hordes shopping in New York at this year. The crowd on Fifth Avenue gives me hives.

Coming in a close second are these tree-shaped whoopie pies. I think cute food gifts like these are perfect if you're spending Christmas with a friend's family or meeting your guy's family for the first time. They're not generic and you don't have to climb through mountains of shoppers to get them. And everybody likes food right? I would totally love it if next year they came up with something adorable and red velvet-related. MMM.

I just love shopping for Christmas presents when it doesn't involve stepping out the door!

today i'm loving: this flask from j.crew

What's not to love about a flask engraved with the words, "The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass."

A flask is not usually something I think I need, but there are certain occasions when it comes in quite handy, like yesterday's Santacon or a day at the Belmont Stakes.

And when the rare occasion comes that you need to be extra stealthy about smuggling in a little alchie, there's the Secret Book Box, which is actually made out of old books which are then hollowed out to create a hiding space for valuables or perhaps a few Mickies.

Just a little something fun and sneaky to get you through a Manic Monday!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

empire state of mind

Someday, when I have an apartment big enough to fit a 6-meter wide print of New York, I'll totally invest in that epic piece by Stephen Wilshire. Wilshire is a British artist who draws incredibly detailed cityscapes from memory. He was diagnosed with autism at age three but soon exhibited stunning talent. In January 2006, he was named by Queen Elizabeth II as a Member of the British Empire, in recognition of his services to the Art world. Truly amazing.

Life has been a massive rollercoaster for me since moving to New York in 2006. I moved to New York wanting to live Carrie's life, and well, that seems to be what I'm getting (minus the shoes)—the apartment with a stoop, the phenomenal friends, the heart-pounding bliss of falling in love, and the gut-wrenching heartbreak of having it all fall apart. Life in New York has been a dizzying rollercoaster but through it all, one thing has remained constant: my unconditional love for this crazy beautiful city.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

santacon 2009

My current "say yes to everything" policy brought me to an incredibly fun event today: Santacon. Santacon takes place in several major US cities close to Christmas, and the basic idea is that everyone dresses up as Santa and goes on a pub crawl. Fun and hysterical, but something you might want to keep your kids safely in the house for. Zoe and I were conservative with our outfits, wearing just Santa hats, since it was our first time and didn't know what to expect. It's a pretty tricky event to dress up for because you want to get decked out in Santa gear but you have to spend a lot of time outdoors where it is pretty fr*ggin cold. Now that I've experienced it though, I'm determined to go and get dressed up next year. I checked out some options on Amazon, and these are the front-runners so far (particularly the ones with sleeves):

I wouldn't wear them just like that though. Like I said, it's pretty fr*ggin cold plus there's a lot of schlepping between bars involved. I'm thinking that I'll add a little twist and be the Harajuku version of Mrs. Claus, an elf or a nutcracker. Wear them with cozy boots and jazz them up with legwarmers and a crazy wig. Layer up with a turtleneck, cozy gloves, thick chunky tights and possibly some thermals too since it would be a shame to have a super cute outfit and then have to hide it under a puffy coat all day.

We had a total blast today. I caught up with the Queens group at the Astoria beer garden, then we all left to meet up with Santas from Manhattan and all the boroughs at Washington Square Park. The train ride was hysterical, with the N train packed with Santas of all sorts.

But nothing prepared me for the scene at Washington Square Park.

Santa and all his helpers were just having a blast—jumping rope, doing the limbo, hula-hooping, dancing in a mosh pit and crowd-surfing.

My favorite costumes were these two. The girl on the left rented her costume from a theater company in DC and I thought it was just the perfect Mrs. Claus outfit. Very cute without being slutty, and quite weather-appropriate. The Elvis Santa on the right just cracked me up, and I was in awe of the Christmas lights strung through his costume. Awesome.

There were lots of interesting costumes, from "underwater" Santas to toy soldiers to girls strung together as reindeer.

What a great way to get into the Christmas spirit! Can't wait til next year!

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