RSS

Tag Archives: lifestyle

Locked In (Tiffany & Co.)

 Jewelry…  One of the ways to a woman’s heart…  100% sure to bring a smile to her face…  and a man to his financial knees.  Happily, though, we oblige our significant other.  To keep the peace?  Yes.  But, more importantly, it gives us regular guys so much fulfillment to bring happiness to the ones we love.  Be it purchased or otherwise.

I sense that a growing anticipation will be triggered by the previous paragraph.  Your interest, dear reader, has been piqued.  Questions begin to swirl around in your head…  What kind of jewelry did he buy for her?  Was it expensive?  Did she like it?  Alas…  None of that happened.  But, I have to tell you that I was tempted.

Nina, Monika, Lana and Gabby of Rustan’s

Why is it then, that I am writing about jewelry when I didn’t buy anything?  Well, it just so happens that I was invited by Rustan’s to attend and cover the launch of a new collection of vintage inspired yet contemporary “Tiffany Locks” from Tiffany & Co.  I can tell you right now, if the wife were with me, it would have been the end of this blog because I wouldn’t have money left to pay for my internet connection.

The “Tiffany Locks”, made of 18k gold, sterling silver, or a combination of both (a couple of which are in the photo above), are attention grabbers.  They are actually quite innovative.  Taking a mundane, everyday tool such as a lock and turning it into elegant jewelry is remarkable.  It reminds me of the charms in numerous shapes little girls have hanging from their necklaces or their bracelets.  Unlike those, though, these Locks give women a certain allure that says feminine rather than girly, modern rather than new and vibrant as opposed to just plain fun.  The Locks look so good that I would really like to gift a couple to my wife.

Tessa Prieto-Valdes with the lucky winners of Tiffany Locks

The event, hosted by Cosplay Queen, Tessa Prieto-Valdes (referring to the host as the “Cosplay Queen” is cool and not at all derisive), had all the elements of vintage-comtemporary style.  The patented “Tiffany Blue” color was used to accentuate the elegantly festive atmosphere successfully as guests were milling around the display cases pulling out their credit cards to purchase pieces from the new collection.  Those guests that chose to rein in their desires did not have to look sullenly upon the beautiful jewelry as uniformed waiters were roaming the room with very delicious canapes (I was snacking the entire night), refreshing cocktails and over-flowing champagne courtesy of Bizu Patisserie.  The highlight of the night came when twelve guests were chosen and given the chance to win beautiful Tiffany Locks by opening the four display cases they were contained in.  Everyone watched as the chosen guests prayed that the key they were given would open the display cases.  There were a few tense moments, but everyone cheered when all four display cases were opened.  Even those of us who weren’t chosen to participate were caught up in the euphoria.  As the night ended and the guests were merrily going home with their purchases and prizes in little blue shopping bags hanging from their wrists, I take one last look at the jewelry on display and make a mental note for the future.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Magnificent (Magnanni)

 For those people who have read my previous posts, they would know that I have this thing for shoes.  Dress shoes.  The kind that guys like me who have shunned the corporate world don’t have any practical use for.  Yes, we may, on occassion, have the need to slip our feet into handmade leather loafers.  But, since these occassions are quite few and far between, a couple of pairs would be sufficient.

Right…

As if a woman would be satisfied with just a couple of bags…

Anyway, I was aimlessly walking around the mall one day, enjoying its cool, airconditioned confines.  As it was an aimless wandering, I wasn’t really paying attention to where I was going.  When I was just about done with my Chai Tea Latte, I looked around for a rubbish bin to dispose of my cup.  I asked a person in uniform for some help and realized that the uniform looked familiar.  Taking stock of my surroundings, it dawned on me that my wanderings have taken me into the men’s department of Rustan’s Makati…  Again…

Emotions of guilt and joy swept through me.  Or was it joy first and then guilt?  Joyful guilt?  Guiltful joy?  Whatever…  A plausible excuse must be found to placate my wife’s growing irritation at my increasing clothing bill.  But, wait!  I have not done anything wrong!  It was not my fault that I am back in Rustan’s!  My feet brought me here!  Yes!  My feet!  I had nothing do to with it, so there.

Satisfied that I have not done anything wrong, I finally glanced down at the magnificent pair of Magnanni shoes I have been cradling in my hands while I was undergoing my mental discourse.  Called the “Belton”, its exquisite brown sheen, delicate buckle, hand-sewn leather and the combination leather sole for the forefoot and rubber sole for the heel made me think about the movie Ocean’s Thirteen and how it was able to tastefully blend laid back elegance, impeccable style (care of world-renowned Filipino designer Kenneth Cobonpue), and careless wealth.

As much as I loved to imagine myself putting on a bespoke shirt, a light linen suit, slipping into these Magnanni shoes and getting into a Maserati Quattroporte (I am a family man, after all), reality must step in.  For the meantime, the shoes must be put back into its display stand and I must walk back to the parking garage, get into my vintage 4×4 and drive home.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

James Bondish… (Hackett)

 Ever since the time I decided to eschew the corporate life, I have been waking up with a smile on my face.  No more rush hour traffic.  No more long days.  And, I think more importantly, no more restrictive dress code.  My suits have been relegated to the back of my closet to make space for my casual, but otherwise, smart daily wear.

Of course, I’m not saying that I now look like a slob.  I still do appreciate clothes that are stylish and well-made.  It’s just that, rather than conveying a message of competition and assertion, I would like to think that the way I dress now conveys warmth and acceptance.  I think…

I do still work.  And, because of the nature of my profession (which I am trying to keep a secret), I still have meetings scheduled throughout the work week.  The difference is, the meetings are now more relaxed and informal.  Much like a meeting between friends.

Anyway, my more casual work wardrobe needed a little spiffing up.  Visa suggested that I shop around for a light sport coat that can be used for daytime appointments and not so formal evening functions.  Mastercard readily agreed.  And so, for the nth time, my credit cards find themselves in the men’s department of Rustan’s Makati trying to jump out of my wallet.

Being a regular guy, I made a mental map of the selling area and chose a route to follow.  After about half an hour, I was on my way to an elevated portion when I spied a blue jacket, which is pictured here, by Hackett of London that was left hanging in one of the fitting rooms.  It caught my eye because it was the first time I had seen something like it.  After ensuring that the room was empty, I entered to get closer to the item.  Maybe it was the yellow lighting in the room, I don’t know?  Called a “Blue Delave”, its soft blue color and luxuriously light linen fabric reminded me of the ocean, an immaculate shore line, and an ice-cold Daiquiri with those little umbrellas.  Or, maybe I’ve just been watching too many James Bond movies…

It wasn’t much of a fight, really.  I knew that this was the jacket I’ve been looking for.  It looks good.  It will go with the clothes I already have and it’s perfect for the tropics.  This is one time I gladly handed over my existence to the sales person and signed on the dotted line.

Now…  What to tell the wife…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Machiavelli is Filipino! (Machiavelli Chocolatier)

I love the rain.  The weather gets a little bit cooler.  Streets and buildings get a much needed wash down.  The leaves on trees and plants glisten with their coat of water.  The sound of raindrops hitting the pavement muffles the otherwise deafening sound of daily life and, for a few hours or so, we are forced to slow ourselves down.

And slow ourselves down we did one stormy afternoon when classes were cancelled and work was called-off early.  Knowing that traffic would be going in the opposite direction, I swept my wife from bed, got into the car and hied off to Makati for a relaxing, mid-afternoon date.

Soon enough, we found ourselves in the immaculate and familiar confines of Rustan’s flagship store in Ayala Center (Let’s face it…  Most of us grew up borrowing our mother’s frequent shopper card).  We had a leisurely stroll among the beautifully laid-out displays with my wife taking note of the “X” items (my knees are quivering as I write this), while I was subtly directing her toward the men’s department.

I thought my efforts were succesfull when something caught her eye (*face palm*).  She immediately made a bee-line for some well-lit refrigerated display cases set against a purple background.  With no other choice but to follow, I scampered off after her.

She was already choosing what to buy when I made it to her side.  I don’t blame her.  We were staring into the display case of Machiavelli Chocolatier and the chocolates on offer were bite-sized works of art.  We bought a couple of pieces (the Grand Marnier and Coconut Screw) and relished the smooth, buttery chocolate that could have only come from the best chocolatiers in the world.  Upon closer inspection, I saw that most of the chocolates on offer had Filipino names.  There was Yema de Manila, Dusty Negros and Batangas Star.  There were even chocolate bars dedicated to prominent Filipino personalities such as Benny’s Morrocan Bar (dedicated to Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco) and the Cory Aquino Bar wrapped in yellow.  I asked the proprietor, Raul Matias about the store and he confirmed that the store is his original concept and that he made the chocolates himself!  Amazing, really.  It just goes to show that Filipinos can stand as equals on the world stage.

I’ll have this over Belgian chocolate any day.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Well, My Wife Liked It (Kate Middleton)

My wife and I are in Fully Booked quite often.  It’s kind of a default destination for us whenever we have nothing specific to do and we just need to get out of the house.  We browse around for an hour or so, taking note of the books we like before finally choosing from among them and heading for the counter.

During one such trip a couple of weeks ago, my wife came up to the counter with a basketfull of chick lit.  I, on the other hand, just had two or three books cradled in my arm.  I told her that it was a bit too much since we’d be back in a couple of days anyway.  But, no, she said that she chose all of the books so that she doesn’t have to buy any book for a few weeks.  I relented, but it was too late.  My wife’s credit card had already been swiped by the evil saleslady.  (Note to self:  cancel wife’s extension cards)

It’s been a couple of weeks.  I’ve already burned through the books I bought and have begun re-reading back issues of my car magazines.  I was getting bored and all I could see was this pile of chick lit on my wife’s bedside table.  It was too late in the evening to get a snack and the iPad was taken hostage by the kids.  So, without really thinking about it, I rolled over to the other side of the bed and got the book on top of the pile.

Big Mistake.

It was a book entitled “Kate”, subtitled “Kate Middleton: Princess in Waiting”, written by Claudia Joseph and it was an excruciating read.  The first eleven chapters were about Kate Middleton’s paternal and maternal ancestors and how most of them lived and died as mine workers.  It was sad…  Really…  And boring.  The chapters about Kate Middleton herself began in primary school and there was nothing there.

So, I muddled through a few more chapters until I got to the point where she became the flat mate of the prince.  At this point you’d think, “Ah!  Now for the good part.”  You’d expect sex, drugs and other unspeakable acts, but, like the rest of the book, there was nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing.

It would have been nice if the author wrote about how the Middletons built their party planning business called Party Pieces or included more photographs of the other people mentioned so often in this book, but, I guess Claudia Joseph wrote the book for a very specific audience and never really expected it to sell beyond the shores of England.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Analog Down Time (Ion Audio)

It’s 9pm on a tuesday and my mind is still racing from all the sensory inputs the day had to throw at me.  I’m trying to relax, but I still have one last thing on my to-do list.  With wife in tow, I drive over to my sister-in-law’s pad to brainstorm for creative ideas.

After about half an hour, we’ve gone nowhere.  In fact, I’ve resorted to scrounging around her half-empty refrigerator just to have something else to think about.  With no new ideas and a fruit roll-up in hand, I plop down on the couch and decided to put on some tunes.

Walking over to her audio cabinet, I am greeted by this non-descript TTUSB10 Turntable from Ion Audio.  Its actually a hybrid since it comes with software that allows the owner to record the analog audio output into an Mp3 file.  The result?  Analog sound from a digital player.  Cool.  I flip through her collection of vintage vinyl, little by little getting hypnotized by the slapping of each record against the other.  Choice made, I gingerly slip out the vinyl record from its protective cover.  It’s been 25 years or so since I’ve actually touched a record so I take my time to appreciate the weight of the vinyl and the grooves carved into it.  At this point, I’m already smiling.

WARNING!  What comes next is a ritual known only to audiophiles and may not be suitable for those born in the digital age.

I flick the power switch to on.  Carefully lay the record on the platter.  Set the speed to 33rpm.  Press the start button to begin the rotation of the platter then move the arm to ever so delicately place the stylus on the vinyl.  For a moment or two, nothing except a barely audible hiss comes out from the speakers.  Then, the stylus is caught in the groove and the sweet, smooth, mellow sound of an analog recording wafts around the room and slowly envelops me in its warm tones.

Just the memory of the experience makes me want to sit back on the couch, prop my feet up on some pillows and ride the feeling.  Good Vibes.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Convention Loot (VMV Hypoallergenics)

Medical conventions are usually staid affairs teeming with stuck-up old men or crusty old women.  If there are any young doctors, you’d see them shifting in their seats, thinking of heading out to the hotel pool or the adjacent golf course.

It’s not a vacation for their family members either as those who are brought along find themselves hanging out in the room or in the pool area waiting for hours for their respective spouses/parents.

Not this guy.  No, sir.  I’ve had my share of conventions and I’ve loved every single one of them.

You see, my wife is a dermatologist and the way conventions go, their annual medical convention is husband nirvana.  While my wife is dutifully listening to the latest scientific updates from speakers who come from all over the world, I am sitting amidst the numerous corporate displays taking advantage of the excellent foot massage while enjoying my chai tea latte and keeping an eye out for freebies.  Yes, freebies.  And I’m not talking about boxes of anti-biotics.

Walking around the vendors’ area where the corporate displays are is like walking around the cosmetics and skin/body care floor of a high-end retailer.  They have the latest and about to be launched products on display.  The best part is…  You guessed it.  Freebies!  Most, if not all, of these companies give out samples of their best-selling or most expensive products.  And, they’re quite generous about it.  There was one year where we were able to get enough free soap that we didn’t have to shop for that item for six months!  This year, I hit pay-dirt again with a number of freebies from VMV Hypoallergenics called Grandma Minnie’s The Big, Brave Boo Boo Balm; Grandma Minnie’s Coo & Clean Baby Wash and their Armada Baby 50+.

My kids love the water which means we’re at the beach club every month.  It’s a lot of fun, but being kids, it also means that they are out playing in the sun for hours, their skin gets the occasional scratch and it takes a lot of soap to clean away the salt water residue.  With a formulation specially made for ultra-sensitive skin, this trio of skin care products is the answer to our concerns.  The sun block is protective enough but not as sticky as other brands, the balm helped soothe a couple of scratches (mine included), and the baby wash made my kids smell clean and fresh without any powerful odors.

I’m definitely looking forward to what they have to offer during the next convention.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,