Sunday, January 31, 2010

portugal on my mind

I've had Portugal on the brain all day after waking up to a message on my Facebook wall from my dear friend Avery mentioning a biennial festival called Boom that's taking place there in August. Still ruminating on whether a "three day open air psychedelic Goa trance extravaganza ... in a magic forest in Portugal" is for me. If I do go, I'd have to combine that trip with my planned Ibiza trip in September ... I wonder if packing for a trance extravaganza in a Portuguese forest calls for a similar wardrobe for partying in Ibiza? Hmmm.

Anyhoo, while I was browsing my favorite shopping sites, I came across J.Crew's catalog photographed in ... where else? Portugal! Way to stoke my wanderlust J.Crew.

I have been wanting to see Lisbon for a looooong time. Back in 2004, I had a ticket booked for Lisbon, but due to my amazing propensity to get stranded, I found myself stuck in Prague and unable to go on that trip. So it's been quite a frustration since then. I am crazy about mosaic and tiled anything, so Lisbon seems utterly beautiful to me. I am dying to see the intricate calcada portuguesa (the mosaic tiled streets) and the colorful handpainted-tile facades of the buildings in Lisbon.

The J.Crew shoot also got me curious about the outskirts of Lisbon. They did a shoot at a walled city called Obidos. The whitewashed walls remind me of the Greek Islands while the fortresses make me think of the medieval walled city Toledo in Spain.

And having grown up in the tropics, I always appreciate a beautiful beach. Praia da Adraga, where the J.Crew team photographed its swimwear story, seems so majestic, enveloped within towering stone cliffs. I'm so ready to pack my fedora and just head out to Portugal, I swear ...

My feet are getting itchy ... must go places this year!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

restaurant week diary: en japanese brasserie

Phenomenal restaurant week meal at EN Japanese Brasserie last night! Thank god too because we had to brave frostbite to get there, with New York's freezing temps. I had never been to this restaurant before and I have to say, I quite like it! It's a modern izakaya with lofty ceilings and sleek Japanese-inflected interiors. There's a massive open kitchen that's completely staffed with Japanese cooks (not a common sight in Manhattan). The air is suffused with the scent of stone grilled meat. LOVE!

I started off with a large bottle of Echigo rice beer ($11), which lasted me the entire meal. It was quite good; a hoppy lager, slightly bitter, but strong enough to stand up to all the strong flavors in my dinner. There were so many tempting things on the a lá carte menu that I almost skipped the restaurant week menu; the uni don had me thinking for a while, but I'll have to come back for that another time. I decided to go for the full on restaurant week menu, which was totally worth it! For starters, we were given o-banzai, or the chef's selection of traditional Kyoto-style appetizers. Tonight it was one seaweed concoction and another pickled radish dish. We were also given the handmade tofu that the restaurant is known for. This tofu is made fresh, everyday, at 6:00, 7:30, 9:00 and 10:30. I love seaweed and pickled apps so I was happy with the o-banzai. And the silky goodness of that ultrafresh tofu was just awesome.

But nothing brought a bigger smile to my face than this:

The stone grilled Washugyu creates quite a spectacle when it is served, since it is such a beautiful plate. The picture's a little washed out so the steak looks more well-done than it actually was. It was actually quite nicely medium rare, which is just how I like it. The serving is incredibly generous. Even with the $10 supplement, I found this to be a way better deal than the other entree options (black cod or vegetable tempura). This dish is sold for $42 on the regular menu, so it's a good deal to do $45 for the Restaurant Week menu and get all the little trappings thrown in. We were also served onigiri and miso soup. I couldn't even get through the miso soup because I was so stuffed. Dessert was simple: a scoop of tangerine ice cream. I was not crazy about the flavor but at that point, the ice cream was a welcome respite from the heavy dinner.

At the end of our meal, we were each given $20 coupons to use towards one of their regular tasting menus, which start at $65. I totally intend on making use of that coupon one of these days! Must have more! I am also very curious about EN Japanese Brasserie's "Fish Heads, Eel Bones & Beer" dinner, which is inspired by their staff meals. It takes place at 10pm on the first Saturday of every month. It centers on the concept that nothing is wasted in a Japanese kitchen, so odds and ends like scraps of wagyu beef and fish heads are turned into delicious dishes by the chefs. Past dinners have included sea bream-head soup, crunchy deep fried eel and fluke bones, and braised wagyu beef tips. Also, this $45 meal comes will all the Sapporo beer you can drink. My kind of dinner.

I would definitely rank EN Japanese Brasserie as one of my top Restaurant Week experiences. Delicious food, wonderful service, amazing ambience and just great value for money. Meals like these are why I love Restaurant Week!

EN Japanese Brasserie is located at 435 Hudson Street (at Leroy), New York, NY 10014. Tel. 212.647.9196

Friday, January 29, 2010

how to ... dress up for a pink party

I've always been a girly girl. I grew up sleeping in coordinated pink bedrooms, wore a pink princess gown on my 18th birthday extravaganza, and later in life even developed a weakness for men in crisp pink shirts. So when my friend Céline invited me to French Tuesdays' Pink Party, I was all for it. The rule was to have a touch of pink in your outfit. You needn't dress head-to-toe in pink; I got away with wearing just a fuchsia headband. But I thought it was a brilliant idea. It's a simple theme but it ties a party together and makes for very pretty party pics. And ok, fine ... I just do love men in pink shirts!

What I learned from this party? A touch of pink is more than enough. Simply wearing one piece from the collage below would make a sweet impact on a pink party (okay fine, you can pick two pieces as long as the second is the Veuve Clicquot). 

Alice + Olivia dress at Shopbop; Headband at; Joie "You're So Vain" sandals at Bloomingdale's; Louise Mariette headband at Net-a-porter; French Tuesdays Pink Party photographed by Damian Pope; Veuve Clicquot

Wouldn't it be lovely to throw a pink party with lots of rosé, baby pink macaroons and feather boas galore?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

restaurant week diary: bondst

One down for restaurant week! Tonight Zoe and I met up at BONDST to try out their restaurant week dinner. I'd been to BONDST before but just for drinks at the lounge, and was always curious about their food. I started with a yuzu caipirinha at the bar, which I picked because it had calamansi in it. Calamansi is a type of lime that's widely available in the Philippines, but I rarely come across it in this part of the world so I just pounced. That familiar tartness in my caipirinha was a nice way to start off my meal.

BONDST offers a rather generous restaurant week meal because of its "bento" style. You start normally enough, with a choice between salad or miso soup. Your main dish, however, is served "bento" style. It comes with three other small bites (crispy shrimp, some braised hijiki, and a steamed yuba dumpling) as well as your choice between sushi rolls or sashimi. The main courses offered are either steamed cod or strip steak. For dessert, two of the choices are a molten chocolate cake and a lychee panna cotta.

Zoe and I ended up ordering completely different things, as you'll see in the pictures below. My meal is on the left side while hers is on the right.

The salad was a great starter, especially since I've been eating so much junk lately. I quite liked the crunchy noodles on top and ginger dressing always gets my appetite going. I was quite pleased with my "bento" though last November's trip to Tokyo has just ruined the sushi experience for me. The sashimi I had was not bad at all, but since the memories of Tokyo's succulent, ultra fresh otoro and nigiri are still vivid in my mind, BONDST's sashimi was almost inconsequential. The dumpling I thought was alright but ordinary, and the hijiki was negligible. The steak was nicely medium rare, as I like it, and had great flavor but still nothing to write home about. Zoe felt similarly about her food. For the most part, the dishes were just okay—although her cod was quite delicious. The meat was plump and juicy, and the sweet yuzu sauce just gave it great flavor. What I liked most about this meal was that it was generous and had good variety. It was not mindblowing, but it's a very nice meal to have while having good conversation with a friend. Plus, I was stuffed by the time I cleared my plate so it's good value for money.

What I did passionately love was my dessert. The lychee flavored panna cotta was just so light yet satisfying. I loved that they decided to use lychee to flavor it. It ranks up there among my favorite panna cottas ever (#1 is still held by Kittichai's jasmine flavored panna cotta). Zoe's dessert, a molten chocolate cake served with a scoop of espresso ice cream, was equally delish, just richer. A great way to send me off to my next stop for the night: French Tuesdays' pink party at Nikki Midtown! More on that tomorrow ... for now, off to bed!

BONDST is located at 6 Bond Street near Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012 40.Tel. 212-777-2500

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

i don't heart

Valentine's Day has never been one of my favorite holidays, even though I was in a relationship for the last 7 years. It annoys me how prices for flowers, candy and dinners just get absurdly inflated on this one day. So vigilant was I about not getting sucked into this Hallmark holiday that in my last relationship, I asked the ex to refrain from ever buying me anything for V-Day and use that money instead for a nice dinner on a non-Valentine's Day date. I emphatically refused to go out for V-Day dinners and insisted on eating takeout on our couch (though I did get persuaded to at least eat the cheap Thai food in the restaurant instead of getting takeout).

So as you can imagine, now that I'm actually single, I doubly loathe Valentine's Day. I'm not gonna lie, I've been rolling my eyes at every single heart-shaped box of chocolates I pass on the streets. As I did it again while passing Lindt last night though, I thought, maybe I should just do a heart overload one day to desensitize myself from all the heart hatred. So, I looked up every heart-adorned fashion item in existence and with my favorites came up with the collage below. Some aren't so bad actually. I'd really like a pair of those heart-seamed tights from Topshop.

Clockwise from left: ; Leifsdottir skirt at Bloomingdale's; Vivienne Westwood pumps at; Heart seam tights by Topshop; Hard heart purse by Urban Outfitters; Kate Spade pumps at Endless; Heart purse at Harmony Lane

If you're happy and not bitter, then good for you and I wish you a happy hearts day. To other ladies rolling their eyes like me and muttering under their breath with every Valentine's Day display, high five!

Friday, January 22, 2010

the buried life

Thank god! I finally have something a bit more substantial to watch than Jersey Shore. I saw the trailer for The Buried Life a few weekends ago and really wanted to see it. Basically, it's about four guys who made their own version of the Bucket List and are driving through the country trying to do it all. For every task they cross off, they help a stranger do what he or she would like to do before kicking the bucket. Pretty good premise huh?

I just watched the first episode on (being the TV-less, cable-less pauper that I am) and was thoroughly entertained. In this episode, the boys try to cross of task #6 on their list: Attend a Playboy Mansion party. It's pretty funny. And it doesn't hurt that they boys are kinda cute. Ben, who tried to disguise himself as Cristiano Ronaldo to get in, looked pretty cute with that extra dark tan actually.

I walked past this on Fifth Avenue the other day. Basically, you get to type in what you'd like to do before you die. Hmm ... I would have a pretty long list. Something to think about on today's drive to PA.

What would be on your list?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

have you made your restaurant week rezzies yet?

NYC foodies, it's that time of the year again. Those two weeks that make Winter in New York a tad more bearable are coming up ... yes, it's almost Restaurant Week! It kicks off this Monday, January 25 and goes on until February 7. There are some exciting new restaurants on the list like Breslin Bar & Dining, SHO Shaun Hergatt and A Voce, but maddeningly they're all just participating for lunch and the Breslin doesn't even take reservations! So since I actually work, I don't think I'll be getting a crack at those. But that's okay, because there are many, many good meals to be had during Resto Week! Zoe and I are kicking it off with dinner at Bond Street on Tuesday, and I'm sure there will be plenty of other foodie friends who will want to indulge.

Also new this year: the Restaurant Week Truck! The RW Truck will be stopping at three different locations throughout restaurant week serving up hearty soups from 24 different establishments. The truck schedule is:

January 25–29: Broadway (bet. 50th and 51st Sts.)
February 1–3: Fifth Ave. (bet. 18th and 19th Sts.)
February 4–5: Greenwich St. (bet. Warren and Murray Sts.)

The first stop is bit of a walk from my workplace so we'll see if I am tempted enough by the thought of creamy white onion soup with duck confit and mustard oil from Marseille or butternut squash leek soup with cranberry beans and sage croutons from Nice Matin to trek over. It's only $6 for a cup of soup and a piece of bread from Tom Cat Bakery. Plus, $1 from every $6 NYC Restaurant Week Truck purchase will go to The Haiti Relief Fund at the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, aiding disaster-relief efforts in Haiti.

If you haven't made any reservations yet, then get your foodie on by clicking here. If you want to get in the mood, check out my posts from restaurant weeks past here.

I meanwhile, will be signing off. Feeling under the weather and want to rest up for our chill country weekend getaway! Have a great one dears!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

bitch 2008

I'm sorry, I feel like my posts have been a little blah lately. It's just that work and life have been seriously kicking my butt. I hope, hope, hope to have more entertaining stuff up for you soon. I had a ridiculously stressful day at work today—one of those that make you just wanna run into a room and scream your guts out. Someone should totally run with that business idea actually. Rooms for rent for people to scream their guts out (and possibly break some plates and glasses in) for a fee when they're stressed out. At the end of the day, I went into the wine store to look for something to take to my friend Coco's house for dinner and just zeroed in on this bottle. Wouldn't you?

Yes, the bottle does in fact say Bitch 2008. It's a very light grenache, not particularly complex, but pretty good for table wine. I normally prefer a more oaky, velvety red but this is a very easy drink at just roughly $14 with tax. Perfect for a casual night in with a homecooked dinner with some girlfriends. A good laugh, I would imagine, in a bachelorette party? I would totally do row upon row of this for a girly evening. TOO FUN. And on a crazy day like today, just what a girl needs ...

I am just DRAINED so good night darlings. I hope I'll have more substantial things to say to you tomorrow, but for tonight, just wine-stained kisses!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

old hollywood glamour

I wanted to do a Golden Globes post but with all that rain yesterday, there weren't very many droolworthy pictures worth posting. I thought Penelope Cruz handled the umbrella situation the best; she posed with such ease that it was as if the umbrella was part of the outfit! I just love how she always exudes pure Hollywood glamour on the red carpet. One of my ultimate faves.

It's funny that I should find today's old Hollywood inspiration in an actress that, to be honest, I never really found that jaw-dropping. I see that Jessica Biel has a smoking body and ridiculously high cheekbones, but I don't know, she just didn't appeal to me. I remember when I was at that Vanity Fair shoot a few years ago, a couple of guys called me on my cell and when I casually mentioned that Jessica Biel was standing in front of me in a bathrobe, they all but fainted. But to me, she was just ... alright.

And then I saw this picture of her in the February issue of Vogue:

ILOVEIT. THAT's old Hollywood glamour. I wish actresses would be bold enough to throw on a fur for the red carpet, but alas, I guess no one wants PETA to kick up a fuss. Why must there be fashion terrorists?

Monday, January 18, 2010

gettin' my groupon

I'm probably seriously late in the game here, but I just discovered the coolness that is Groupon. For those who don't know, Groupon is a website that works on the concept of "collective buying power." They find a company that'll let customers try something at a much lower price than usual if enough people want to buy it. Yesterday, for instance, one of the Groupon deals was for pole dancing lessons at New York Pole Dancing. Now, normally, an intro class here costs $25. But with the Groupon offer, I was able to get two classes for just $24! Thanks to my friend Janine for clueing me in on this deal because I have been dying to take this class forever but just found it way too expensive. There are so many different deals you can get on Groupon, from discounted Fresh Direct deliveries to affordable massages. But I am absolutely thrilled with my lessons! First step to becoming this woman: 

Ok, I suppose it will take me pleeeeeeenty of steps to become a champion pole dancer like Laurence Hilsum, but a girl's gotta start somewhere right?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

help haiti

The devastation at Haiti just continues to boggle the mind. I have been following Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Twitter feed and he is seriously a hero in my eyes. He's in Haiti to report for CNN but being a neurosurgeon, he has also been helping the injured Haitians. In fact, he stayed at the field hospital last night, turning his crew into a "crack med team" to continue helping survivors, when every other doctor and nurse was pulled out due to security concerns. I have so much respect for him. His latest Twitter feed reads: "So sorry to not anchor my show today. couldn't break away from the field hospital. if #cnn doesn't fire me, promise to do the show tomorrow."

If you would like to make a donation, a quick and easy to way to do it is to text HAITI to 90999. $10 will be donated to the Red Cross and will just be charged to your phone bill. I did that today and it was amazingly easy. You can also make a donation to the Red Cross through iTunes.

T-shirt company Kid Dangerous has also created a Help Haiti shirt, which you can pre-order from their online store for $35. Proceeds from these sales will benefit One Dome at a Time, which is helping provide immediate relief and longterm rebuilding to the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Every little bit helps.

today i'm loving: naomi campbell tearing it up to tina turner

A surefire way to get you going on a lazy Saturday: watch Naomi Campbell tear it up in 6-inch stillettos to Tina Turner. It's enough to endear a cellphone-throwing b*atch to anyone!

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, January 15, 2010

how to ... go disco

It's a funny thing being a single girl in New York. I've been living in the city for 3 years now, but was whipped into a whirlwind relationship after just one month of being here. So there were aspects of the city's nightlife that I just ignored—the club scene, particularly. Before 2010 hit, I'd gone clubbing in New York a grand total of 7 times. In just a little more than 2 weeks, I've gone twice! Which is staggering for me. But that's what happens when you decide to adopt the "Say yes to everything" policy, I guess.

So last night, a couple of other single girlfriends and I decided to go to Juliet Supper Club, a newly opened spot on the West side. The place is a total trip. It's like dancing inside a disco ball. When I was living in Germany, I developed a distaste for disco balls, probably because they were everywhere, even in the dingiest of spots. But these days, I think they're growing on me. As an ode to Juliet, I thought it would be fun to put together a little collage of disco-inspired fashion:

Clockwise from top left: Juliet Supper Club; Giuseppe Zanotti shoes at Net-a-porter; Silence & Noise dress at Urban Outfitters; Earrings at Club Monaco; Kenneth Jay Lane bracelet at The Outnet; Kenneth Jay Lane disco ball ring at Macy's; Judith Leiber disco ball bag at Net-a-porter

My favorites out of the bunch are those drool-inducing Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, of course, and that fun Judith Leiber bag. Never been one for her kitschy crystal-studded minaudieres, but this one's killer, I have to admit. And it seems that quite a few people think so too because even with it's staggering $2,495 pricetag, it's sold out in Net-a-porter!

Started my weekend a little early. I spent the entire day nursing the mother of all hangovers (note to self: it's probably not a good idea to drink red wine, vodka cran and tequila if you don't want to be completely debilitated the next day). It's only Friday night and I feel like I've been through battle. Tonight's going to be a bit more chill, just dinner and drinks at a friend's place. But tomorrow ... well that's another story!

Happy weekend to you all, and thank god it's Friday, eh?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

how to ... channel mrs. robinson

I hummed Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" all day Tuesday, a compulsion brought about by the scandal rocking North Ireland over the first minister's wife, who is also a Parliament member, and her reported affair with a then 19-year-old lad. She purportedly raised thousands of pounds to help her young lover open up a business. Don't get me wrong here; I fully acknowledge that what she did was completely wrong. Adultery is never excusable, and neither is wielding publicly bestowed power for personal gain. But I can't help but get annoyed over how she's being reviled over her having a relationship with a much younger man. Men do this ALL THE TIME, and they're given a pat on the back rather than being made a pariah. Again, I am NOT saying what she did is right, but I do so despise double standards.

In any case, this is a style blog, definitely not a political one, so that's all I'm gonna say about that. What I will do is look back on the most fabulous and unforgettable cougar to grace the silver screen: Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson.

"Would you like me to seduce you? Is that what you're trying to tell me?" BEST. LINE. EVER.
How to channel a bit of Mrs. Robinson in your wardrobe? A little bit of leopard and a lot of lace. Ooh, and thigh-highs are of utmost importance.
Demi push-up bra by Victoria's Secret; Silk sheath by Ann Taylor; Sunglasses by Jimmy Choo at Bloomingdales; Babydoll and thigh-highs at Victoria's Secret; Elizabeth & James pumps at Bloomingdales;

I had to look up my favorite scene from The Graduate: the seduction scene of course! Dustin Hoffman's bumbling and almost hysterical reaction to Mrs. Robinson's attempts to ensnare him are just hilarious.

If you've never seen this movie, or would just like to be reminded of what a great film it is, take a look at this review by A. O. Scott for the New York Times:

Here's to you, Mrs. Robinson!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

please pray for those affected by the earthquake in haiti

Truth be told, I am not really in the mood for a fluffy post today knowing that over a hundred UN colleagues are still unaccounted for after the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti yesterday. I don't know anyone stationed there, but it could have been any of my friends who have selflessly dedicated themselves to doing the UN's work in the most dangerous places. I too had aspirations of serving in Haiti, and it's just dumbfounding to see what happened to our colleagues there. I am just praying fervently that some good news will come soon.

In a few hours, I'll have a rather lighthearted post up that I started working on yesterday, before calamity struck. But for now, please stop and say a little prayer for those who are still trapped under the rubble in Haiti.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

today i'm loving: icy and muted hues

After all the holiday sparkle and revelry, I'm starting to feel the need to take it down a notch. Putting away the glitter and bright reds, and looking for something more subdued ... cool icy grays and fading blush pinks seem to be the perfect antidote for getting over the holidays. Out of the whole phenomenal Run of Show shoot that W Magazine did, the styling on these two are my absolute faves:

I love the mix of menswear and eveningwear in the first shot, and the fact that the third model from the right is wearing a lame shirtdress. A lame shirtdress! Just how simply chic is that? And the Dior chevron-print on the model to her right is just whispering sweet nothings to me ...

On the second picture, I want to be those two super tailored, super chic ladies wearing scarves in a way that will never look natural on me. THAT is how I wish I looked like on every trip I've ever taken to Europe, rather than being forced to wear sensible shoes and jeans.

When I grow up, I want to be as chic as all of them.

i'm on twitter!

Never thought I'd do it, but I got on Twitter! I've been especially verbose these days, torturing my Facebook friends with incessant updates, so I thought why not get on a medium where that's expected right? So I hope that some of you who love Twitter as much as you love following blogs will follow my little feed. Check out the little widget on my sidebar.

Fittingly found this adorable picture above on Little Miss Sunshine's Flickr photostream. I just love her whimsical style! Oh to be blond, blue-eyed and talented ...

Monday, January 11, 2010

on the hunt for: a crossbody bag

Desperately seeking the perfect crossbody bag, preferably with a chainstrap. The dream would of course be a small Chanel bag but the price is exorbitant so I have to look for other options. Last New Year's Eve, I crammed my essentials into a small purse with a long chain strap that I managed to find at the last minute in Banana Republic. It worked pretty well; I was able to dance and mingle without ever worrying about where my purse was. It's not quite perfect though because I could hardly fit my camera and iPhone in there. I'd really like a sturdy leather one that fits my necessities and looks good whether I'm running around in the city or at that jaunt in Ibiza that I'm hoping to do with some girlfriends this year.

Options I ran across in my search (some more realistic than others):

Clockwise from left: Rebecca Minkoff bag on LC at ($330); Tory Burch bag at Bloomingdales ($265); Dior bag at Saks Fifth Avenue ($610); Ted Baker bag at Asos ($118.98); Alexander Wang bag at Barneys ($725); Botkier bag at Bloomingdales ($275); Jack Rabbit bag at Bloomingdales ($335)

I am leaning towards the Tory Burch bag, I think. It's not SUCH a bad price and I just really like the black leather-gold chain combination. Tory Burch also makes a gold leather version, which I'm also mulling over. The Rebecca Minkoff bag is also really calling out to me. It's just got such a party-ready look, don't you think?

Ahhh so good to indulge in petty concerns for now. Tomorrow when I wake up, it's back to the saltmines! *sigh*

Sunday, January 10, 2010

last day to hit up the net-a-porter sale!

Personally, I'm not in the habit of buying things that cost as much as a plane ticket to somewhere fabulous, but far be it for me to deny you all information on a sale! If you're budget allows for some Net-a-porter "bargain" shopping, today is the last day and they're throwing in an extra 20% off for good measure. Some lovely things still up for grabs are this gorgeous Hervé Léger dress and fun, feathered Givenchy heels.


derek ramsey

So yesterday a bunch of us girls went to watch I Love You, Goodbye over in Jersey City. For the most part, I loved the movie but I was not crazy about the ending. I don't think it makes sense. It's just the Filipino penchant for happy endings at work, I suppose, but it just seemed so forced.

I loved the movie largely because of the extremely hot Derek Ramsey. I never fancied him before but in this movie he's just WOW. So intense and, in the words of his namesake Derek Zoolander, really really good-looking. My friend Abby told me to look up Derek Ramsey's Lucky Me commercial. She said and I quote, "Sana ako na lang yung sabaw", which roughly translates to, "I wish I was the soup." You'll see what I mean ...

Me being a Filipina living away from the motherland though, I was torn for a few seconds. Did I want him or did I want the soup? I haven't eaten lomi in YEARS! That's pretty yum too ...

It's another freezing day in New York. I only braved the cold for a bagel and coffee (seems to be my new morning routine—and yes I'm aware of how fattening bagels are but it's my breakfast and lunch), and am now just gonna spend the afternoon catching up on my favorite blogs and lazing about. Hope you're enjoying a chill Sunday!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

the worst hotel in the world

I was killing time at the MoMa store the other day when I chanced upon this book:
I think every advertising, marketing and PR person should at the very least leaf through this highly entertaining book, which talks about how the Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam has built a solid business upon marketing itself as The Worst Hotel in the World. When the owner hired ad agency KesselsKramer to design its ad campaigns, his only wish was to stop receiving complaints from hotel guests. So they figured, if you advertise it for what it is, people can't really complain right? And so The Worst Hotel in the World was born. The ads are tongue-in-cheek, really funny, and just pure genius.

With everyone getting on the green bandwagon, Hans Brinker Budget Hotel wasn't gonna get left behind. Their very own eco ads:

This marketing shtick has been so successful that Hans Brinker regularly has 80% occupancy, even on slow seasons. I mean, what backpacker wouldn't want to boast of having braved The Worst Hotel in the World, right? I'm strangely intrigued actually. What people would put themselves through for a good story to tell!

Wishing you all a great Saturday! It's a crisp but beautiful day in New York, with the sunshine streaming through my curtains. I've just finished my H&H bagel with lox cream cheese and Sbucks cafe mocha, and I'm all set to head to Newport to watch I Love You, Goodbye. I'm off!

Friday, January 08, 2010

how to ... put some color in your life

Like most New Yorkers, when the weather turns gray and gloomy, I start wearing head-to-toe black. I've practically been living in my black cords, boots and puffy coat these past few months. It quick, easy and very New York-appropriate, but after awhile it gets depressing. So today I'm looking to add a little color in my life ...

Clockwise from top left: Necklace by Elva Fields; Bag by Marc by Marc Jacobs at Bloomingdales; Leather-inlaid Rubik's Cube at William & Son; Coat by Club Monaco; Cashmere-lined leather gloves at Barneys; Sephora by OPI nail color in Le Beau at Sephora; Pumps by Casadei at Footcandy; Belt by Matthew Williams at Net-a-porter

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