Arianne T. Ferrer
Contradictionist and reader of trivial literature. Spends early mornings at the library, swotting up on abstruse economic theory and 20th century British humourists. Consequently, knows everything about nothing.
Now I'm confronted with the choice of (a) leaving you high and dry, with stagnant RSS feeds, or (b) writing as many posts as I can manage over the remainder of the holiday, to be published at regular intervals. So what say you, dear readers?
Another thing that's been worrying me is blog content. I know we started A Plus B in the Sea focusing on fashion riffs on our favourite movies and books (boy, do I miss our Play Pretend series) but lately posts have been rather random. In fact, B mentioned that we're so close to turning into a travel blog without enough Manila. That was pretty frightening, the realisation that one might have lost one's way. Ships drifting off course and all that.
Or is it? Is it losing one's way or simply finding a new one? I know, I know, 'way existential', especially after recovering from jet lag.
But seriously, what are your thoughts on the topic of evolving blog content? What do you miss about A Plus B in the Sea t-minus two years, perhaps something we can get back? What would you like to see on our blog in the future? Lifestyle (easier to write) or travel (harder) diurnals or a return to 'fashion'?
Let's go, let's go, I'm listening!
I spent my summer hols as a human Baedeker for my siblings' first trip to Europe. Background reading—Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall (lifesaver!) and A History of Britain by Antonia Fraser—map navigating, language interpreting, currency conversion mental calculating, photo taking... you name it, I had to do it. But what FUN.
I'll likely write more detailed travel posts on No Modern Ariadne, but here are some of my favourite photos. Mostly ones on those rare sunny days.
And yes, I think we did spend too much time in old churchyards. :))
Isn't my sister pretty?!
Post title taken from Norman MacCaig's poem, November Night, Edinburgh.
A wears clothes that weren't warm enough.
Flare and Camera Bag (though pretty nifty themselves). Bandwagons, they are made for jumping on. At least until B and I get the hang of our found-or-borrowed film cameras ('But let's save that story for later,' as a Babysitters Club member would say).
A wears her sister's dress, Madewell shoes, old denim jacket. B wears thrifted jacket and dress as well as a trade-in Dooney and Bourke.
I'm off to sleep (at 2 in the afternoon, haha) so you might like to read some Ted Hughes (now known primarily as the husband of Sylvia Plath, but I think he's a much better poet). Voila, "The thought-fox" from the Critical Quarterly, 1984:
THE THOUGHT-FOXYou can read more about Ted Hughes on critic Richard Webster's site here.
I imagine this midnight moment’s forest:
Something else is alive
Beside the clock’s loneliness
And this blank page where my fingers move.
Through the window I see no star:
Something more near
Though deeper within darkness
Is entering the loneliness:
Cold, delicately as the dark snow,
A fox’s nose touches twig, leaf;
Two eyes serve a movement, that now
And again now, and now, and now
Sets neat prints into the snow
Between trees, and warily a lame
Shadow lags by stump and in hollow
Of a body that is bold to come
Across clearings, an eye,
A widening deepening greenness,
Coming about its own business
Till, with a sudden sharp hot stink of fox
It enters the dark hole of the head.
The window is starless still; the clock ticks,
The page is printed.
So what's your favourite vulpine story? Or are you less fond of Reynard and more a fan of Puss-in-boots?
B wears Element white top, Topshop denim shorts, thrifted boots
- A Humbershoe Jumper, soft and slouchy for chilly December nights.
- A Dress in Merlot, good for twirling along to the Jingle Bell Rock.
- A Mariner's Watch, to navigate time and space.
- A Night Circus, magic constructed entirely in black and white.
- A Flask of and for Cognac, future container of classic pep-me-ups.
- An Alternative Transportation Tote, for armchair travel and otherwise.
- Zipcode Boots in Suede, comfort and class at a conscionable price.
Clearly, I'm not yet over the red, black, and navy color scheme that so inspired Anna Karina. :))
My friend Fannie and I had a booth selling stockings from our online shop Sock & Sole Co. and clothes from my nautical-minded wardrobe last Saturday at the second Bloggers United Bazaar at the Treston International College at Bonifacio Global City. I were so busy that I barely got a chance to look at the other bloggers' stalls (or take decent pictures) but I loved Melai's slick MC-ing and meeting some of our readers (girl who won a prize and said A Plus B in the Sea was her favourite blog, email me?)!
Also, thanks to my usual after-school picker-upper Nail It Salon, I discovered the wonder of matte coral nail polish. It's amazing to have 'frosted glass' nails though, klutz that I am, they were chipped by the end of the day. I think it's time to get one of those loyalty cards that give discounts. :))
All right, I have to admit that half my mind was focussed on the LA Galaxy vs RP national team football match that my brother, Naesa, and I were going to see a few hours later. If you follow me on Twitter or on my meandering micro-blog No Modern Ariadne, you'll know about my obsession with Arsenal FC and Cesc Fabregas' hair. I'm not a huge fan of David Beckham but I can appreciate his skill as a midfielder and a leader, so I was excited to watch him play along with Arsenal arch-nemesis Robbie Keane of Sp*rs extraction.
Boy, what a night.
I ran two blocks to get to the stadium on time, lost my little brother in 13,000-strong crowd, ogled at Azkal #15 (who are you?!) with Naesa, ate hot dogs on the bleachers, saw Beckham get three corners and a goal, and watched a pretty pathetic national team capitulate to LA Galaxy.
Then it was chicken nuggets (mmm, fake food) at a late-night McDo before heading to Bea's birthday party. The theme was a slumber party, and we were the only ones in pyjamas. Dang it, B!
A wears Topshop denim jacket, spring dress and the Leather Satchel Co. bag.
EDIT: I have an updated guide to leather satchels here, with a table for easy comparison between brands. :D
Ever since I was a kid, I loved the beat-up brown leather school bags that the Railway Children and the Famous Five carried around as they went on adventures up and down the countryside, but I had thought that purveyors of the school satchel had died out in the 60s. Then I saw Keiko Lynn's yellow Cambridge satchel back in 2009 . . . Alas, a hefty price tag and a fear of Philippine custom tax kept me far away from online order forms.
After two years of slyly dropping hints into the ears of ancient relatives and bringing bagged lunches to save up, I suddenly unexpectedly got my hands on satchels from four bag makers, the Leather Satchel Company, Cambridge Satchel Company, School of Satchel, and Zatchels. Joy joy joy!
Though the satchel has become an IT bag and sadly ubiquitous on the fashion and blog scene, I'm really glad I got one (two!) at last, so I thought my fellow dreamers would like to hear about the similarities and differences between the satchel makers, so here's my first product review!
Caveat.—the photographs come straight from my camera because I don't trust my Pixelmator editing skills enough to capture an accurate depiction of the leather material's colour consistently from photo to photo.
The school satchel is such a British classic (The Leather Satchel Co. has been using the same traditional design since 1966!) that it is almost impossible to tell the difference among bags made by the Leather Satchel Co., Cambridge Satchel Co., and Zatchels. They all have silver buckles, a front pocket, and an ID holder. I've read that the Leather Satchel Co. makes bags for other fashion houses and brands (they remain nameless) so it is possible that all the UK-based satchels are actually made by a single manufacturer!
Zatchels has its embroidered logo sewn on the right hand side of the front pocket while the others have their logos blind embossed at the back of the bag. Zatchels also stitches all around the top flap while the others do not.
School of Satchel is a little different because its bags do not have the ID holder nor silver buckles. Its buckles are made of a brassy metal that has a more vintage stamp. I also noticed that the front pockets are larger and the gussets are deeper compared to the other brands, which means that School of Satchel bags have the most space to put your things in.
All companies offer initial embossing and handles. The Leather Satchel Co. and School of Satchel offer optional Magnetic closures whilst only The Leather Satchel Co. also offer longer straps, deeper gussets, shoulder pads and what they also call a Tallboy design (a taller satchel with a longer top flap) for people who want to use their satchel as a laptop bag.
The Leather Satchel Company also delivers its satchels wrapped up in brown paper packages tied up in string ;P with a handwritten note addressed to the buyer! I think it is so sweet and old school of them. If you'd like to see pictures of the unwrapping of my Loch Blue satchel, check this out.
This may be hearsay, but I've read on other blogs and forums that Cambridge Satchel Company has slow and unresponsive customer service. I've heard of three-month long delays (just check their Twitter stream) that have even induced people to cancel orders. Again, I have NOT experienced ordering from the company, so I can't say with certainty that their service is less than impeccable.
- Cambridge Satchel Company.—11/13/14/15
- Leather Satchel Company.—11/12.5/14/15/15 Tallboy/bespoke sizes
- School of Satchel.—11/13/15
- Cambridge Satchel Company.—9 colours (vintage brown, dark brown, navy, black, red, purple, yellow, pink, green) and seasonal or designer colours (fluoros and two-tones)
- Leather Satchel Company.—27 colours (Charcoal Black, Chocolate Brown, Chestnut Brown, Autumn Tan, Pillarbox Red, Racing Green, Loch Blue, Deep Purple, Double Yellow, Baby Pink, Baby Blue, Snow White, Burnt Orange, Vintage Champagne, Sherwood Green, Oxford Blue, Dayglow Pink, Dayglow Yellow, Dayglow Green, Dayglow Orange, Mirrored Chrome, Mirrored Copper, Patent Black, Patent French Lilac, Patent Moss Green, Patent Cambridge Yellow and Patent Fuchsia Petal)
- School of Satchel.—6 colours (oxblood, navy, tan, black, distressed grey, and purple) and two-tone epi-leather satchels in baby pink and line green
- Zatchels.—A LOT. All the basic colours and metallic, animal print, floral, distressed, polka dot, pastel, star, Union Jack patterns, you name it they have it.
- Cambridge Satchel Company.—£74-84
- Leather Satchel Company.—£74-156
- School of Satchel.—£50-71 or PhP 3,500-5,100
Zatchels (14.5 inch black)*
Cambridge Satchel Company (14-inch red)
The Leather Satchel Company (12.5-inch loch blue)
For me, I like the Leather Satchel Company best (in fact, I'm thinking of selling off the Cambridge to get another). Why? First, I love the leather finish, smooth, glossy, and practically water resistant. Second, it has the softest leather, so it's much easier to unbuckle (straps are thin but solid and crack-free**) and expands to fit in my iPad, codals, and cases. I also really like that the length of the strap is perfect, unlike the others, I didn't need to readjust or have a lot of excess strap. Third, it is the only company that offers a five year international warranty. Stitching unravelling or buckles tarnishing? Have no fear, just send in your satchel through the post and the Leather Satchel Company will fix it up tout suite.
I also highly recommend School of Satchel because, with each satchel you purchase, a bag will be donated to public school children who need things to carry their workbooks too! Chi offers the best prices for students and yuppies without stinting on that lovingly handmade quality. For fellow Filipinos, it is also the easiest bag to get your hands on and you'll be supporting our local leather industry.
*The workmanship of my Zatchel is a little iffy—the bag doesn't stand up straight because the base is uneven. It needs to lie on its back, otherwise it will topple off tables.
**After a month of using the bags, only the Leather Satchel Company's straps and buckles are as pristine as the day the bag arrived. I've noticed flaking and cracking on the straps of the other bags.
Do you already own a satchel? Share us your views or favourite shops to find old school satchels, whether retro inspired or vintage, in the comments below! :D
Sometimes it seems that this blog is entirely composed of hellos and goodbyes, but what can we do? The three inch piles of homework and those hour-long commutes take us away from our dream world and into the real world. So those glorious days of Doing Nothing, haphazardly scattered throughout the year, are treasures to hoard close to our hearts.
Oh, hello hello, sembreak.
I've spent the last few days lolling about my house in pyjamas, baking red velvet cupcakes with friends, putting the finishing touches on my Halloween costume, marathoning episodes of Community and Modern Family, beginning on that bloggers' favourite, the retro Pan Am, and, of course, reading all your blog posts.
B and I are planning to show you a little more of Manila in time for Christmas (teaser: Juan Luna's Spolarium, playing Ferris Bueller at the Ayala Museum, and maybe a bit of Chinatown/old Binondo) but until we get those photographs processed, I want to link to some bloggers whose hometowns I always enjoy reading about. The beauty of armchair travel is that it's free. ;P
Viva La Manika—retro gothic, lo-fi goodness, an artistic eye and a truly nationalist sensibility—Afianne Cope on her hometown:
I live in a small young city mostly occupied by residential and industrial establishments. It’s nothing luxe and is far from being the best place I could live in. It is in fact a very simple life down here. No frills and fancy thrills, no sir. Not even a town perya or many intricately designed buildings and daringly dressed people to take pictures of.
I used to frown upon all these because I’m one to look for boldness in almost everything. This place seemed boring and it did not have much to offer. But as I grew older, I catched on. Yes, it lacked furbelows and artistry and all that but there’s one thing I’ve grown sure of - its homeliness was irreplaceable. At the end of the day, there will be nothing like the vendor’s holler waking you up in the morning, the bumpy jeepney rides, the simultaneous karaoke singing in the neighborhood you hear at night, the quiet parks and, I admit, the malls where almost half of the town’s population head to on weekends and season sale and so much more. It’s all a classic case of hometown glory.
1. The Parish of the Five Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ, a city cathedral with a rather interesting modern structure designed by our very own Arch. Joseph AdG Javier basing the concept on a nautilus, a marine organism with claims to the perfect natural proportions, the golden mean.
2. BF Paranaque. There are innumerable eating (and drinking) places in this area. Whether you like a cozy night -out with your loved ones or a frisky one with your friends, you will surely find a rightful spot.
3. The Phil-Am Village Private Park. I know it’s a bit funny but yes, I come clean about going to parks at this age. I get a lot of that feeling of wanting to flee from daily hustle-bustle and just appreciate serenity through the sight of trees and old-fashioned lovers. Guess I’m just an old person trapped in a 20-something body. :D
Green Tea Fields—Southeast Asia up close, film experiments, looking at home from that belle-laide angle—Michelle Kuek on Singapore:
This may sound weird but I really like that my neighbourhood is a remote, little backwater in Singapore, almost unchanged for the last 20 years that I have lived here. Well, there are political reasons for it but let's not get into that! My neighbourhood is lit slightly dimmer than most neighbourhoods but lesser lights mean that I can actually go star-gazing, something almost unheard of in a city! Many a nights, I walk home with my head tilted up to skies, trying to figure out which constellation is up. :)
I would have to say Tiong Bahru. Tiong Bahru is a neighbourhood situated slightly outside of Singapore's city centre. This neighbourhood is quirky mix of the old and the new. Make your way through the quiet, leafy estate of apartments built in the 1920s and 1930s, and then choose between having a quiet cuppa at a cafe, visiting art galleries or having local food at the local market!
A Fine Day for Sailing—vintage classics comfortably and freshly styled, biking down streets on sunny days, and the friendliest smile ever—Isla Bell on San Francisco:
The best part? The people! San Francisco is full of such inspirational characters young and old. Everyone is so open and friendly. It did not take long for me to feel right at home here. There are so many amazing places in California it's hard to pick one. The Pinnacles national park is pretty magical, the hike there takes you through caves and up mountain sides, it's so majestic.
Olive, My Love—lots of love for historic sites (kindred spirits!), hanging out with friends (ditto), and a little link to our homeland via vintage emporium Dalaga—Liz on New York City:
My favorite thing about Brooklyn and my neighborhood (Bushwick) in general is the sense of community you feel when you live here. It's like everyone is banded together in this burrough and because of that there is always something going on. Farmers markets, free art opening and movies playing in parks, river front concerts and parades in Coney Island... All of these things are at your finger tips and you just have to go out and take advantage of it. It's so hard to pick just one place to visit while you're here (there's so much to do and see!) but some of my favorite places are naturally ones that take you away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
1. The Museum of Natural History: I could spend a full week walking through the halls and exploring all the exhibits. Artifacts, fossils and taxidermy, oh my! This place is great because you can walk across the street afterwards and have a picnic in Central Park!
2. Ft. Tryon Park at the Cloisters: This park and medieval art museum are waaay up north in Manhattan. It's a serious trek (at least and hour on the train), but it's 100% worth it. It's like a sanctuary up there. I didn't even go into the museum when I went because walking around the surrounding park and gardens was enough for me. Bring a snack, a blanket and a book and you're set for a relaxing afternoon.
3. Greenpoint: When I first moved to Brooklyn, I lived in Greenpoint and I still miss it to this day. Luckily I work there, so I still get to reap all it's benefits! Besides, what's a trip to NYC without a little bit of shopping and exploring?
If you are looking for an afternoon of walking around, window shopping and delicious food without the insane crowds of Manhattan, then Greenpoint is the spot for you. Franklin St. is littered with adorable shops (including Dalaga!) and yummy places to grab a bite.
I love Cookie Road for coffee and macarons, Paulie Gee's for the best pizza in town and The Pencil Factory for a drink after work. Alter is a quintessential Brooklyn store and they have both men's and women's locations on Franklin. In God We Trust has fantastic hand made clothing and jewelry, which is all created in their work space behind the store in Greenpoint! Kill Devil Hill is like a modern day general store and the owner is so sweet. If you're shopped out you can walk two blocks to the waterfront and take a ferry ride across the East River to Manhtattan via the India Street Pier!Odd Socks & Pretty Frocks—Georgette Heyer novel reader, wonderfully Wonderlandian shoe collection, and a shared taste in coats, old suitcases, and National Trust houses—Alex on Liverpool:
My favourite thing about Liverpool can't be narrowed down to one place or thing. The city as a whole is utterly unique and wonderful. It's an amazing mix of modern attitudes and very tangible history. We've got two cathedrals, more Georgian buildings than Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage waterfront, loads of museums, galleries and such a great sporting and musical heritage, all in one fairly small city! If I'm being biased then I would say come and visit the place I work in, because it's beautiful and has survived amazingly over the centuries. In terms of Liverpool generally then I think just an hour's stroll around the city centre and the back streets is the one thing that all visitors should definitely do. You don't get the real feel for a place until you've walked round and discovered all the quirky little things about it.On Dressing Up—seaside walks and cherry blossom trees, pastel and pattern, superb prose, and that feeling of quiet happiness—Ana B. on Wellington:
It's got the buzz, activities and energy of a city, but the warmth and heart of a small village. You can't walk down the street without bumping into someone you know; and everywhere, strangers smile at you. I've never tasted coffee as good as it is here. Even gas stations have barista service. It's a land of milk and honey and rolling green hills and crazy street parties with people spilling onto balconies in the heat of summer nights. I love to travel but more than that, I love to come home.
Local Favourites Cafe-hopping, people-watching, thrifting and seeing gigs along Cuba Street; the street where I live in the centre of the city.
Dream Destination Iceland! To see the fire and the ice, the Northern Lights, and maybe an Icelandic elf or two. A friend told me of being in Iceland during Christmas. As the sun went down, one by one, people lit oil lamps and put them outside houses and shops, dimming the electric lights. She said the street was like a giant string of fairy lights.I seriously need to read more blogs from South America and Africa! Can anyone suggest a great lifestyle blogger from those continents? :)
So most of you know our obsession with British period drama from our posts on Glorious 39 and Cracks and on the critically acclaimed An Education, but I can't believe I haven't shared anything about the ITV series Downton Abbey which just won a bucket of Emmys. Written by Julian Fellowes of Gosford Park fame, the series follows the story of the Earl of Grantham and his household as they deal with the problems of class and succession with the backdrop of turn-of-the-century Britain and the First World War. Very Upstairs, Downstairs except BETTER.
The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous, long sweeping views of the Highclere estate and loving and lingering close-ups of ancient books in the library and silverware & crystal in the dining room. Downton Abbey is history viewed through rose-coloured spectacles, all things beautiful and good, with the added bonus of Coronation Street-style drama. Oh, the British. :))
There's a ton of style inspiration to be found in Downton Abbey. It's set in the early decades of the 20th century, after the horrendous bustles (no one could ever look good sporting a false bum) but before the days of flapper dresses (flat-chests a requirement, full bosomed girls, away with thee!), so the clean lines and almost empire-cuts look fantastic on every kind of body type. I really love the white lawn dresses that Lord Grantham's three daughters wear to tea and village fetes as well as the tailored riding habits complete with horsewhip that the eldest daughter Lady Mary wears. Even on the television, I could see how fine the lacework and filigree on the collars and the gowns were, and I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to keep them pristine. And the hats!
My two favourite characters are Lady Mary and Lady Sybil. A lot of people dislike Lady Mary for being a little spoiled, rather bossy, and very mean to middle sister Ethel (HATE HER), but I love her to bits. She’s clever, common-sensical, and cosmpolitan, and Lord Grantham sees her as the son he never had. Unfortunately, by the laws of primogeniture, Lady Mary can’t succeed to the title, so she must choose between marrying well into the aristocracy or her distant cousin Matthew, a middle class solicitor from Manchester who is heir presumptive to Downton Abbey. It is so much fun watching silver-tongued Mary cutting up Matthew, who she initially sees as an upstart bumpkin, before realizing his essential merits—one of which is a kindness that she does not possess. She has the most divine dresses, I would go out in her nightdress!
Then there’s Lady Sybil who is so gosh-darned sweet. She is very progressive, helping their maid find a job as a clerk-typist and discussing communist tracts with the Irish chauffeur Branson, and by the start of the second series she’s convinced her parents to let her attend a nursing course to aid the war effort. The scene where she fails at filling a kettle with water and making porridge is hilarious! Her fashion sense progresses from pastel smocks reminiscent of the nursery to peacock-inspired harem pants before settling on a very practical blouse and skirt uniform.
Totally shipping Sybil/Branson.
Kranich’s gave me a $150 gift coupon to spend on its website and I thought it would be fun to feature some of the possible future purchases in Downton Abbey sets. I swear, Polyvore is so addicting.
I’m really looking forward to the second series, and I am willing to put on record that if Matthew doesn’t end up marrying Lady Mary, I will eat my Sales textbook.
This is a sponsored post for Kranich's Jewellers, purveyors of Simon G, Ritani and more! If you're looking for some fancy bling or a hope ring, check 'em out!
Apologies for the month-long hiatus (curse you, school/work!) and I'm afraid B and I are likely to be missing in action for god knows how long, but before I head back to the books I want to share two things with you dear, dear readers: (1) On Dead Man's Bones, a superbly macabre, Hammer Horror-inspired travelling band whose back-up children's choir are always dressed up in Halloween skeleton and ghoul costumes and (2) an outfit inspired by the new film One Day.
Now, Anne Hathaway has been the bees' knees ever since I saw her frizzy-haired and buck-toothed in one of my favourite movies, The Princess Diaries (ignore the existence of its sequel, there is no way that Mia Thermopolis would chuck Michael Moscovitz for some Euro trash aristo—Michael plays in a indie rock band and invents a robot that helps save cancer patients, hello?). She's a class actress (Rachel Getting Married) except for one wee little thing—she can't pull off a British accent to save her life. Ever since Nicholas Nickleby, I've avoided films where she plays a British character, even Becoming Jane where she plays the best female author ever across James McAvoy for that particular reason, but now I'm dying to see One Day. She's guaranteed to mess it up, it's a Yorkshire accent for heaven's sake! Tough.
P.S. My mum's coming back with the camera in two weeks so real A & B outfit posts should crop up around the end of September. Yay!
This is a sponsored post for Kranich's Jewellers, purveyors of Simon G, Ritani and more! If you're looking for some fancy bling or a hope ring, check 'em out! I'm saving up to get one of their silver Everlon knot bangles, a little different but still classy.
When trees outside are bent in half by gusting winds and local news channels are filled with talk of cars turned submarines it's only human to think back on better, sunnier days. As I was replying to Mirella's email about convenient blogging, it was only logical that those sunny days were Swiss in nature. So I thought I'd share some more photos of Zurich in the spring time. Witness pastel painted houses, winding cobblestone streets, teenagers reliving mediaeval history, shops with kettles and coffee cups arranged by colour, and a river as clear and turquoise as any tropical sea.
I've had several messages from readers (yay!) about what to wear when travelling abroad, and my usual answers involve checking typical weather conditions, crawling street style blogs, and making sure that all your clothes can be mixed and matched. For Zurich, my khaki Zara jacket and cream t-shirt and floral skort combo were my go-to pieces, if only because they were the only clean items in my luggage by that point. Mirella told me I looked simply Parisian in them, which was extremely gratifying to hear coming off a five hour train from France.
So today's travel tip: pack a lightweight tailored blazer for May in western Europe. :P
A wears Zara blazer, thrifted floral skort, DP t-shirt, thrifted belt, and Dooney & Bourke backpack.
As I posted before, I am still a little bit obsessed with denim. So much so that I have started layering - which is much more fresh and less heavy than it looks. The annual Topshop summer sale rolled around and I had to break the bank for this dress. I'm definitely getting my moneys worth though. I wear it at least once a week. I'm sure I'd wear it everyday if only my officemates wouldn't notice...
B wears Topshop denim dress, ukay-ukay denim jacket and Nava green belt. Aldo Sandals.
We found it hard to edit the photos because there were a ton of clouds that afternoon. The weather report had predicted sunny skies all day but when we got up to Tagaytay it was raining. Though Pixelmator colour masks saved the pictures from looking completely dull and dreary, does anyone have any tips to improve dark or overcast photos? They would be much appreciated!
If you'd like to get the superbly comfortable and kawaii shoes featured in this post, please visit the nearest Ichigo store near you! They have a huge collection of girly vintage-inspired ballet flats and brogues that is renewed every month (so there's always something new to try on!) and all for less than PhP 1,000.00. For international readers, you can contact Ichigo through email to see if they'll ship to you or, if you are desperate for a pair, we'd be happy to help you out.
Greenhills Theatre Mall, Missouri Lane L37 Lower Ground
Greenhills, Shoppesville 3rd Level Atrium Lane
The Ramp, 2nd Level Shangrila and Glorietta Malls.
Inspired by Japan street style and the 1950s, Ichigo also sells satchels and canvas rucksacks. Check out the new collection at the Ichigo store near you! You can also order online at their Multiply site or Facebook page.
Instead of a Saturday with Insurance (1000-1200), Labour (1200-0230), and Criminal Procedure (0300-0600) I sniggered at a fancy baking soda and thimble shop, gorged on PhP 150.00 ten-inch bahn mi with barbecue-vinegar sauce and Thai milk tea, bought a Barbour lookalike quilted jacket at Topshop sale, chowed on hot chicken wings and cool blue cheese on radish sticks with Fannie, and went out with the girls (and Vince LOL) pretending we knew the difference between a Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.
I wish I had photos of our lunch (so cheap, so good), but my battery died. Don't you hate it when that happens? If you like old record sleeves like B, go and check some of the silliest ones we found here.
A wears thrifted boots, cardigan, and dress and a Dooney & Bourke backpack.
I've always admired people's dedication to aesthetics on websites such as Pinterest and Things Organized Neatly. Pencils in arranged by height, sea shells according to colour, dresses hung by pattern and print . . . So B and I thought we might have a go at it, and we discovered that great what's-in-my-bag photos are really, really hard to take.
I had to climb up on B's piano seat and half a dozen sofa cushions, trying to get wallets, headphones, a tube of lipstick into a properly framed shot. It was hard to balance on my little princess-and-the-pea structure while laughing my head off. The things we do for our blogs!
So, what I've got in my bag (clockwise from left):
- Red leather wallet.—present from an aunt, and much better than my old trick of stuffing bills and coins in my back pocket.
- Samsung Corby.—about to die, several months after I dropped it into a bathroom sink at a late night party. Mixed drinks, baaaad.
- Mr Darcy tote bag.—bought in Bath for my friend Naesa but could not be brought to part with. And yes, Jane Austen's much loved hero has ruined me for any other man.
- Kindle.—not mine! but I thought it would be a good substitute for my usual companion, an iPod Touch named Chuck. I usually never leave home without it (and the 300 novels loaded into Stanza) but I suppose there's a first time for every thing.
- F21 sunglasses.—cheap and cute (isn't the little bow to die for?) and Bea's! If you haven't noticed, B and I love exchanging things when we feel like our own wardrobes are suffocating us. Before I let for Europe, I traded my full linen skirt for her paper baggy black one and we were very happy about the switch!
A wears thrifted striped shirt, B's Topshop skirt, tights, aunt's Cole Haan tasselled flats, and a canvas tote bag.
One bright spring day in May I went down to South Kensington to see the Victoria & Albert Museum. I thought half a day would be enough to get a good grasp of Victorian taste but I was wrong. The building may not look like much from the outside, too much brick and gothic columns, but inside is a treasure trove of what I imagine awed visitors to Crystal Palace during the Great Exhibition.
I really REALLY loved the exhibition on the Aesthetic Movement, the Cult of Beauty, but they wouldn't let anyone take photographs! But look up Frederic Lord Leighton and the Pre-Raphaelites and rivals Whistler and Ruskin anyway . . . you won't regret it.
Had Victoria sponge and lemony tea at the most beautiful refectory in the world. High domed ceilings with Arts & Crafts details and stained glass windows flooded the hall with light, and I felt absolutely privileged to be there.
The photos above were taken in the Morris Room decorated by the artist and fantasist William Morris who not only made lovely tapestries and textiles based on work by his Pre-Raphaelite friends Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti (awesome names right?) but wrote fairy tales with titles like The Well at the World's End and News from Nowhere.
Portraits are my favourite thing to look at in museums because I love making up stories about who the people were and what they were like. It's also a great place to 'cast' novels like I did for Max Ravenscar from Georgette Heyer's Faro's Daughter when I saw Henry Brougham at the National Portrait Gallery. Geeky, I know, but infinitely fun.
Don't you think the eye miniature is haunting? Probably a memento mori, it was used as a lady's brooch and the tears are made of diamonds! I'm afraid I've bombed you with too many images BUT if you do like 'em I have more miniatures and micromosaics (you will definitely enjoy the tesserae) here.
So I'll leave you with a lovely snuffbox-clock automaton from the 17th century, the age of dashing trans-channel derring-do and red-bottomed heels for both sexes. It's made of gold, moss agate (a mineral though it looks like seaweed or coral), and glass. It reminds me quite a bit of my favourite Doctor Who episode, A Girl in the Fireplace in which Ten snogs Madame du Pompadour while clockwork monsters sneak around Versailles. Go watch!
I've never been a huge fan of music. Whenever I'm out with B and friends I never know any of the songs that the DJs play. It's a sad thing really and I resolve to watch more MTV (my little brother will see to that)!
Generally my tastes run toward what I call Topshop music and what Chantal calls songs-that-don't-make sense (Los Campesinos! anyone?), and when rainy season hits Middle Manila I like to put in mix-CDs on my ancient Sony player. I don't know why but only then do I find it very calming to stare up at my ceiling while listening to Badly Drawn Boy, the Shins, the Smiths, and Neutral Milk Hotel.
Does that make me a hipster? I greatly fear it might.
Tumblr and Blogger posts with rather treacly lyrics tend to be the bane of the (un)civilized worldwide web, but I figure there's a first time for everything. And selling out to the Shins is probably the best way to go. :)
A stronger girl would shake this off in flight,—The Shins, Girl Sailor
And never give it more than a frowning hour,
But you have let your heart decide,
Loss has conquered you
You've won one too many fights,
Wearing many hats every time,
But you wont win here tonight . . .
What sort of music do you like to chill out to?
A wears cream T-shirt, navy Zara heels, H&M coat, Topshop skirt, and thrifted bag.
Pamana means 'heritage', a fitting name for a restaurant that serves all your grandma's favourite recipes from kare-kare to mangoes and sticky coconut rice. Surrounded by posters of 1930s Filipino film stars and sepia photographs of owner Happy Ongpauco's family, you can't help feeling that you've walked into a past where Sunday dinner was the highlight of the week, all sweet, eggy, glorious brazo de mercedes and lolo talking about how he led the guerillas during the war.
When we were asked by our favourite brand Ichigo to style their Spring/Summer collection, we immediately thought that Barrio Fiesta's Pamana restaurant would be the perfect backdrop to our shoot. Both companies offer a modern twist on classic oldies-but-goodies—floral prints on traditional Oxfords, pastel-coloured loafers, tsokolate fondue, tofu sisig . . . there's always something fresh and unique to find.
We asked our awesome friends Gia and Aya to be our dress-up dolls. According to them, they wore A and B costumes for the day, pastels and knits rarely something they rarely wear. But they loved Ichigo's moccasins and lace-up shoes so much they couldn't wait to get a pair. One of these days we'll show you how they styled the shoes their way!
B is very proud of her brown floral skirt, she hemmed it all by herself! We both absolutely regret not paying enough attention in Mrs Arugay's Home Economics class. We chose to write Harry Potter fan fiction round-robins or gossip about Ben Affleck's latest fling instead of learning how to do a drop-stitch.
It was so cool to find the exact same model of Singer sewing machine that we used in high school at Pamana! Converted into a side table, it is perfect for displaying an antiquarian book collection or the latest Ichigo bag.
We loved how crystal chandeliers and gigantic windows let sunlight flood the white-washed rooms. Mirrors of all shapes and sizes hung on the walls and made the rooms seem bigger, and A felt that looking glasses remain the best way to pass from one world to the next, more Alice in Wonderland than ponds in Magician's Nephew or twists of a door-knob in Castle in the Air.
Would you live in a house full of mirrors? Beautiful in the day time, but creepy at night methinks.
Greenhills Theatre Mall, Missouri Lane L37 Lower Ground
Greenhills, Shoppesville 3rd Level Atrium Lane
The Ramp, 2nd Level Shangrila and Glorietta Malls.
Inspired by Japan street style and the 1950s, Ichigo also sells satchels and canvas rucksacks. Check out the new collection at the Ichigo store near you! You can also order online at their Multiply site or Facebook page.
1315 Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay
Three floors full of traditional narra furniture and posters from the golden age of Filipino cinema create a cosy ambiance to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner with a fantastic view of the world's smallest dormant volcano. A suggests tomato-drenched prawns grilled inside banana leaves (pinaputok na hipon) and her guilty pleasure, deep-fried pork with a fresh salad (bagnet). If you want to feel the wind in your hair and the tropical sun in your face, have your coffee and cake at the roof deck. Reservations recommended for Saturdays and Sundays when most of Manila heads up into Tagaytay.
A wears Hush Puppies loafers, thrifted belt and striped shirt, and paper bag trousers. B wears Forever 21 jumper, Zara boots, and thrifted skirt. Gia wears a Brooks Brothers button down and B's thrifted polka dot dress. Aya wears Bangkok shirt dress and a yellow Zara cardigan. Gia and Aya wear Ichigo shoes.
The day before my birthday my aunt's friends took us to Chatsworth, one of the stateliest stately homes in England. That first glimpse of the manor from the rise of a hill is breathtakingly gorgeous, all gently rolling hills dotted with ewes and baby lambs and the susurrus of a stream meandering its way across a valley.
Having lived in a big city all my life, I spent as much time on the grounds and gardens as I could. I walked through bluebell woods (Diana Wynne Jones' Castle in the Air!) and a hedge maze (Jerome K. Jerome's Three Men in a Boat!), and it felt awfully, awfully good to finally understand 'a Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land'.
Sorry for all the geekery! It's just that I always wanted to visit the United Kingdom to see what all my favourite authors and poets cared so much for (or little, in Byron's case). I'm so amazed that what I consider the world's greatest literature came from one tiny island.
The dress is from New Look, on sale for GBP 6.00 and I just had to snap it up. It fits a little oddly on me because I found it under the Tall section and I'm five-foot-four, not gargantuan by any standard, so I'll probably have to alter it a bit. The three turrets among the trees is a hunting lodge that you can actually rent for the holidays (and there goes #89 on the bucket list . . . ) unless the current Duke's nephew has got his pockets to let. :P
Chatsworth is one of the most well-known stately homes in the world, Baroque ceilings and hallways filled with china figurines and Egyptian statues, but I couldn't help thinking it was just like any other house. When you go to a friend's house all their family photos and slightly tacky souvenirs are laid out for your perusal. It's almost exactly the same experience, looking through Chatsworth, only your friend's family is very, very old and very, very rich. So you have the cross-stitched samplers of countless aunts, the well-loved and rather bald rocking horse, the chipped tea sets, and paintings by 'artistic' relatives. Weird and slightly voyeuristic, I felt.
Who wouldn't want this library?!
Afterwards, we drove down to Beeley where I had a lovely almost-birthday dinner at a local pub with a big slab of fried fish on mushy peas, better than anything I had in London. And, best of all, I had my first glass of pear cider! It was brilliant, neither bitter nor dry, and light on the ethyl alcohol taste. Never was a beer or ale girl, so not a surprise it turns out I was born for cider.
So, Chatsworth the inspiration behind Mr Darcy's estate?
Jane Austen wrote in Pride & Prejudice:
"The eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of the valley into which the road into some abruptness wound. It was a large, handsome, stone building standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front, a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal, nor falsely adorned."I think it is certainly a great contender. The grounds are wondrous and green, but I don't think Jane would have thought much of the slightly pompous interior. But if you'd like to see the paintings and wallpaper that I liked at Chatsworth, click here. The 6th Duke of Devonshire chose some lovely mint and Japanese-inspired prints.
A wears New Look dress, mother's cardigan, dime store tights, and Hush Puppies.
@_anarodd @panterpoon @gil_the_world Video Compilation Of Crazy Ways To Open Beer Bottles http://t.co/9NnTju046m
La luz, Pablo, la luz!
Patatas Bravas! [pic] — http://t.co/2DTz2hM8df
RT @LolaSaturnina: You're never going to figure things out if you can't be honest with yourself.
@janicalapati EU and what I'm doing? PLJ PLJ OTHER WORK PLJ OTHER WORK and tweeting you.
SUMMER WHAT SUMMER. WTF NON-STOP WORK DEADLINES.
Hotel style bacon & eggs,… (w/ Bertrand Sebastian & Tiffany Kristianne at Hong Kong International Airport) [pic] — http://t.co/6Gzuj36CCI
@AlbertGubler next time na Lang! Sorry to miss it again. :'(
@panterpoon's ultimate insanity buffalo wings washed down with milk. @_anarodd next month hall of flame! http://t.co/sWyeSbcRfs
Fake swiss suite at Tagaytay w @_anarodd @panterpoon! Where are you @gil_the_world? [pic] — http://t.co/5zScIEcab8
Summer but I haven't had free time to myself yet! Odd.
"Neil Gaiman Can’t Help Creating His Own Universe Inside of Yours" http://t.co/8wdJUXv0NF
@lilithia I ordered from them before for my cousin. Not real leather!
@mikkicrisostomo I can't tell good from bad in that show. All I know is that I ♥ it.
Thanks @gil_the_world @_anarodd for the midweek session and see you Saturday! With the cheesy potato surprise!
Infamous sweet tooth thanks @attyharryroque @panterpoon. Early birthday gifts = awesome! http://t.co/p89WY8wJY9
I'm using Viber to make free phone calls and send free messages on my Android phone http://t.co/mBqlEdkPOr
@raillapuno Yep, the sun aggravated a bad allergic reaction from a few days ago.
Opens Book. “For the girls with messy hair and thirsty hearts”. Ok I’m hooked.
Aerial view of the Bank of England, as rebuilt by Sir John Soane in1830, depicted by J M Gandy as a classical ruin.
Ray Milland & Jean Arthur in “Mein Leben in Luxus”
Sleep to the noise of running water
To-morrow to be crossed, however deep;
This is no river of the dead or Lethe,
To-night we sleep
On the banks of Rubicon - the die is cast;
There will be time to audit
The accounts later, there will be sunlight later
And the equation will come out at last.
purplu: lafiebre: My boyfriend’s back - Peggy Sue Thank you, Mr Jack White, for introducing me to Peggy Sue and for being a talented sexy beast. YES a total discovery, this song is SO COOL.81 plays
thatkindofwoman: fytimbertimbre: Timber Timbre - Like A Mountain I will reap the locust crop ‘cus I love you like a mountain Haunting sounds attract me.3575 plays
ohlydiane: Blue Hawaii, Katie140 plays