life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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officially hitched

Hello! I am now a Mrs and will continue on blogging. ❤

pamkeikwedding

One of the wedding photos.

Will be doing a detailed review of my wedding suppliers and all my wedding related adventures. I have been putting on hold as I was too busy before. Right now, I am on adjustment phase. So, forgive me if there are some gaps in my postings.

Wishing you all a blessed new year!

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alternative to the getting ready (bath) robes?-updated

*updated to include the photos of the actual getting ready dress I used on the day of the wedding.

Brides mostly wear robes while getting ready because robes don’t need to be pulled over the head, so that it does not mess up the perfectly styled hair. Button up shirts is also favored for the same reason.

Sure, I get why. But no bath robe for me. I don’t want to have pictures taken that I am wearing a bath robe. Why? Because as much as I love the comfy terrycloth bathrobe, they would look horrid in pictures. Like I just used the hotel supplied robes.

a terry cloth robe and linen robe -photos from the internet

a terry cloth robe (left) and linen robe (right) – photos from the internet

I also like those linen robes, but those usually come in drab colors, like white or grey. Cotton voile robes are hard to find, or has a dowdy print. Silk and satin robes are not really what I am looking for. Shiny fabrics are not my thing.

And lately there are those custom made (robes) shiny lace-y ones that are all the rage right now, are absolutely a no for my wallet! Sure I like that they can be customized, they look really pretty and all but, I don’t think I would wear it again after the wedding. With the money I need to shell out for a custom made robe, I’d rather get a dress I love that I can wear again and again.

Speaking of the dress I would love to have… 

If I only have a ton of money, this Alexis Mabille dress Lea Seydoux wore will be my getting ready dress. I wish. 

I love it!

I love  it and I wouldn’t change a thing! Photo from RCFA

But, I don’t (have a ton of money). And even if I love the hemline, it will not be practical.

So, I will just have to get the inspiration. I have always liked trench coat inspired dress so this is the chance to get myself one! I searched specifically for white ones to look more bride appropriate. 

trench coat inspired!

trench coat inspired dresses! photos from the internet.

These fit the bill as it is a dress that wouldn’t mess my hair. I just wanted to make it look a bit more trench coat looking, with the double breasted buttons.  I also wanted it to be knee length with pockets on the sides.

My inspiration is a classic trench coat. Its timeless. They are simple, stylish and always look classy.

So after a bit of doodling… this will be my getting ready dress!

A sleeveless, trench inspired number. That is perfect for our warm weather. I could use and re-use and reuse this.

Pure linen would be a good choice as it is breathable and not shiny!

I based the design from the classic trench. 

Pure linen fabric would be a good choice as it is breathable and not shiny! 

For this my Mum accompanied me to look for fabric in Tabora, Divisoria. (walking under the intense heat and rows upon rows of street peddlers selling their wares, a crowd of shoppers… not really a walk in the park) Fabric shopping ain’t pretty. And pure linen have a very limited color choices! (I did not expect that it would be pricey! So, I was a bit surprised with the price of the fabric. Me and my penchant for the finer things in life… sigh) 

Initially, I wanted my dress to be white or blush pink but there is no blush pink linen fabric to be found. The options only include white (I did not get white in the end as it would be difficult to maintain), grey, dark grey, blue, navy blue, brown, khaki, rust (my Mum likes this one), fuchsia and teal (my pick).

the color picks

the color we picked out- rust to the left and teal to the right

After much deliberation, I went with teal as it is a bright happy color. Plus it really works with my skin tone. The rust made my skin look a bit darker.

And off to the seamstress I go! Woot! 

*so here is the updated part.

I personalized my getting ready dress. It had personalized embroidery on the sash! It would be there but not really too obvious.

Since I am taking Kei’s last name when I get married I got the embroidery to be ‘Mrs. Husband’sFirstAndLastName’. On second thought I wanted it to be ‘THE Mrs. Husband’sFirstAndLastName’! For added impact! hahaha! 

Sorry had to delete parts of the name.

Here I am wearing the actual getting ready trench inspired dress on the day of the wedding. Sorry had to delete parts of the name.

My trench dress in action!

My trench dress in action!

-My cousin wore a simple gown on the morning of her wedding, another cousin wore a silk robe, a friend I know wore a button down polo. I have also seen other brides (to-be) don a simple dress. I am just curious… what did you wear/planning to wear as your “getting ready outfit” on the morning of your wedding? 


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mad rush

I have been buried under a pile of things to do. Advance planning not really helping. Sigh.

Newspaper style wedding (liturgy) programs are half done – I wanted to be unique and I wouldn’t mind doing the layout for my own program-will show them here once I am done. Our invites are sent to the printers- in the process of printing, photo booth frames and backdrop also done… and a big fat YES. I might be a bit crazy but, I D.I.Y.-ed. I created all of those projects on my own.

so proud of my work here

so proud of what I did for the photobooth frame

Is also busy with our soon to be home. Currently it looks like this.

pardon the mess.

pardon the mess. left: living/dining area, right: bedroom

Still no furniture. But we have temporary tables and chairs as of the moment. They serve their purpose.

So far, the only thing that is near completion is our or should I say my wedding band/s! That was surprising because it was the one of the last things we crossed of the list…the cramming paid off?! lols. 

love the bling!

love the bling! See my printed peg with the ring-translated to the real thing!

I have Atchie Helen of Helen Jewelry Store to thank for creating this sparkly bling! I really, really love it!

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**mention that you are a reader of Pam & Kei’s blog and you would be sure to get a good price. 

 

Next, I am up to hunt for an alternative to wearing a bathrobe (on the day of the wedding/preparation pictures).

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are our own and based on my own experience. This is not a sponsored post, we paid for this (from) our own pocket. 


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Banded: choosing the wedding ring

With all the flurry of stuff to do while planning our upcoming wedding, one of it is to pick our rings.

We have decided early on that our rings will be in white gold. To match my engagement ring as well as to be easy on the eyes.

Plus Kei has this ridiculous rule that his ring must not have any stone and be plain as could be.

So I kind of went overboard (again) and pinned a whole lot of rings from pinterest.

These were among my picks.

pretty, shiny, sparkly stuff!

pretty, shiny, sparkly stuff!

So, I showed everything to Kei and was met with a looks ok response. I particularly pointed out the two paired bands (left side of the photo) and asked if he liked any of those. Again I was met with the looks ok response. For the eternity rings (on the right side) his answer was no. I was like okay.

*well at least I tried. lols.

His reasons were practical. He told me to go for a half eternity. Not because he wanted me to have fewer stones but so that it would be practical to wear daily, can be re sized easily and I could easily twist the ring to hide the sparkly and the ring gets another look. And Kei’s name would be engraved inside of the band so the half eternity is the best choice.

And above all it should match the engagement ring. So my e-ring looks a bit like the photo below. (Which I don’t wear daily.)While some may think its odd. I choose to keep my e-ring and wear a “stand in” (significantly cheaper) ring for everyday. So, I will not worry that it gets lost, dinged, dirty, misplaced…etc. Plus, I’m clumsy at times. I am scared that I will lose a stone. 

tryst

a true classic

While I don’t plan to wear both the engagement ring and the wedding band on the same finger, I figured ok. I go for the classic look because it will be timeless.

So, half eternity and classic. Seems easy enough. And oh, also no stones that has corner/s. That criteria came from Kei’s mom. Apparently stones with corners would mean quarrels with your mate. Not really sure where that came from but to be sure, we would follow. That means no square, marquise or teardrop shaped stones. So, round stones. Round like my e-ring.

So I narrowed down my choices and here are my picks.

narrowed down

narrowed down

Kei disliked the chunky ones. That leaves me with the left most and the far right ring to choose from.

Since I am hard on my hands, I opted for the left most design. It is rather plain. A half eternity, in channel setting.

I wanted to tweak it a bit. If I am correct, I wanted a channel, with thread and grain or pave setting.

This time we have to get a jeweler’s opinion.

what I really wanted my wedding ring to look like

what my wedding ring will look like according to our criteria for searching. 

Since we already have a church friend that is on the jewelry making/selling business, we paid them a visit. Kei easily picked the design he liked from the rings on display. His was a plain polished white gold band with the comfort fit.

looks a bit like this. just make the whole thing shiny

Kei’s pick looks a bit like this. Just make the whole thing polished. And add the comfort fit curve on the band.

Meanwhile, I kept on trying out ring after ring.

different styles I tried on

different styles I tried on

Yep. Tried them all. Atchie Helen (the jeweller) was so patient with me! I think I may have stayed at the shop for more than two hours just trying out rings.

All sparkly, all beautiful. But when I wear them on my hand, it is a different story. 

There are some I like and some I don’t. The chunky bands make may short fingers look chubbier and shorter. Delicate filigree rings made my hand look dainty. The thin bands created the illusion of having a slender hand. Infinity bands made me look sophisticated.

The weird thing is, I started to “envision” the band on my hand. True those I tried are all pretty, most of them are intricate.

But I cannot see myself wearing those fancy styled bands. Instead I started to think about what would really fit me. The normal boring real life me.

Example I will be cooking/washing the dishes wearing that delicate filigree ring… would it still look delicate then? How would it stand up to the daily life? Go on with my daily activities wearing that?  

I finally got what Kei meant when he told me to go for practicality. So, I asked Atchie Helen about the band I wanted even before I got distracted by all the pretty blings. The half eternity,channel, with thread and grain or pave setting. 

And I was told that it is a good and safe choice. So Atchie Helen (our jeweller) then helped me customize my “plain” ring and sketched + showed me stones that would be used. And even “matched” my ring to look similar to Kei’s ring.

our bands will look like this

our bands will look like this

So in the end I went with the plain looking/common one, and I cant wait to wear it daily. After this experience I think maybe, just maybe there is a reason why most wedding bands are plain. 

  • The store we visited is Helen Jewelry Store  Located at 927 Ongpin St. Sta. Cruz Manila, Philippines. *updated as of July 2016*

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  • The shopkeeper/person to look for? HELEN. She gives the best prices and does custom designs. Confused? look for the prettiest lady in the shop. That would be her!  Tell her that you are a reader of Pam and Kei ‘s blog. You will be sure to get yourself a good price. 

Oh, the price? while I am not dropping numbers here, because that also depends on the jewelry design you choose. But, I can safely say that the price is good. A good 25% (or more) cheaper than prices at the mall. They also carry a variety of gems and jewelry.

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience with the product. This is not a sponsored post, Kei paid for this from his own pocket.

**All photos are taken from the internet. No photos for safety/privacy concerns. 

 


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hoodwinked : SM’s Our Home marking up prices before sale

I have told you before that we are looking for house stuff. And that most of our weekends are spent on being in our place, appliance stores and furniture looking.

Pottery Barn & Crate & Barrel photos from the internet

Pottery Barn & Crate & Barrel photos from the internet

We looked at Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn, the international furniture and home stores that are new here in the Philippines. Loving most of their pieces but sadly the budget cannot accommodate our desires so we searched for an alternative that lead us to SM’s Our Home.

Our home photo taken from their Fb page (June 2015)

Our home photo taken from their Fb page (June 2015)

When I tell you that it is an alternative, it really is. See the example below, Looks familiar?

seeing double? both pictures are taken from their facebook page

seeing double? both pictures are taken from their facebook page. 

The difference of course lies in the price, brand and quality. But for a cheaper doppelganger, why not right? Or so we thought then.

So, we came back once or twice a month to check/scout for the furniture/s we like that are within the budget. Measured and listed them down.

Since we got the house sorted out and ready for furniture, we got their quotation just this Oct 4, 2015 (Sunday).

the quotation they gave us-you can see all the items we picked out.

the quotation they gave us – you can see all the items we picked out. (sofa, bed frame and mattress)

*At the bottom of their quotation, they have this fine print that states that prices are subject to change without prior notice. -to be fair this is pretty standard. 

This is the Charles 3-seater sofa that is priced at 17,950.

this sofa was part of their display last June. It goes for 19,950.00php back then

This three seater sofa and ottoman was part of their display last June. It goes for 19,950.00php back then. Photo taken from Our Home’s Facebook page.

We picked it because it would fit out tiny place.

Next piece of furniture we picked out was this (Gunther) bed frame. This was the one we have been eyeing for a long time now. 

The main reason why we are so keen on this? storage under the bedframe

The main reason why we are so keen on this? Storage space under the bed. (this photo was taken last Sept 6, 2015)

It looks exactly like that when I last saw it. We were told that it was the last piece.

Garret bedframe with storage

Garret bedframe with storage. Taken from Our Home’s Facebook page. (October 2015)

Its price is listed on the quote above. 27,950.00php for the bed frame not bad right?

We are planned to get it on Oct 17, 2015 (Saturday). Right in time for their SM prestige sale (Oct 16-18, 2015). -For more details see Manila Shopper’s Post. 

So, it was expected that the price we saw before is going down due to the discount extended for SM prestige card.

Come Oct 12, 2015 (Monday), just a week after we last saw the bed. Kei went to Our Home again. To see if there is any new item that will be added on the sale on the weekend of Oct 16-18, 2015.

And of course to check on the bed again as it was the last piece.

Sadly this happened. Just whoa! 

sudden spike in price!

sudden spike in price! the difference is 2,000.00php

They upped the price. Even with the discount you get with the sale, its price would be almost the same (its a bit higher) with its regular price.

Why you do this Our Home? 

So, to clarify. We asked to talk to the Our Home staff and manager about the price difference. They can only say “sorry, we are just following orders.” While I don’t blame them, I felt like we got duped.

That is the thing with SM’s Our Home sale. It is misleading. Gets you to think you saved, but truth is you just got cheated. False advertising.

Sale price wasn’t always the best price. Apparently, Our Home marks-up prices before a sale is on. — selling products at regular prices, but calling it a sale.  Again false advertising.
-And because stubbornly, I still wanted to get more details regarding the sale in case we can still “salvage” (may natitira pa ba sa listahan na pwede natin bilhin na di naman kami nadaya sa presyo?) the items we listed down. Sayang naman pagod ko…Off to their Facebook page I go.

And pop goes the weasel. Negative comments abound.

These were taken from their Facebook page.

These were taken from their Facebook page.

We are actually scared to push through buying any furniture piece from Our Home. Bargain hunters beware. 

Time to scram. We lost a good chunk of time looking at their pieces, but good thing is that we found this out before any purchase was made.

Bye! the bunnies are running away. (Part of a photo from Sjaek)

Bye! the bunnies are running away. (Part of a photo from Sjaek, taken from the internet)

Sure, maybe décor and accessories like fake flowers and vases. But then again we can just save a bit more and get better décor items from Pottery Barn and Crate&Barrel.

But no furniture buying from Our Home, in the end we choose/decided to get local woodworkers to just custom make our furniture pieces. At least we get an honest quote, natural wood, our money’s worth and helped support small time carpenters.

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are our own and based on our own experience with the said store. 


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paper story: our invites

Kei gave me the free hand to create our invites. I count it as one of the perks of being a graphic artist, as I already have an idea of what I wanted our wedding invitations to look like.

But being Chinese we have to uphold certain traditions. Our Invitations have to be bilingual. Being quite of a rule breaker that I am, I know for sure that I am not going to have the traditional Chinese wedding invitation cards.

Sorry, but this is just so not us.

At home we have a shoebox full of wedding invites that look like this. T_T (photo from google)

At home we have a shoe box full of wedding invites that look like this. T_T (photo from google)

But I am not about to go out and buy generically designed cards. I am going to create my own, our own. And get it printed.

I wanted something simple: no letterpress, gold foil or emboss, but I wanted to inject color to make it look happy and not so plain and of course, it must look modern. So the cost would be lower, and also to highlight the design and color. And if the budget would allow, I also wanted it to be on pearlescent paper. So I went to ask my best friend Google for inspiration.  I found these.

invitation inspiration all photos from google.

booklet type invitation inspiration (all photos from google)

I like the idea of a booklet type invitations. Beacuse I have to write everything twice, one in English and one in Chinese. I need a lot of pages!

So, I took that idea and went to create my awesome, modern bilingual invitations. I made two designs and got Kei to pick one, so that everything has Kei’s approval from the design to the paper stock. 

I now present our draft/prototype! This was printed at home using our desktop printer and cream colored pearlescent board paper, and held together by two paper fasteners.

Bilingual ✓, color ✓ , pearl paper ✓=just what we wanted.

Bilingual ✓, color ✓ , pearl paper ✓ = just what we wanted.

Ours still feature the traditional Chinese symbol double happiness* 囍, which was modernized by making the 喜 “hug” the other 喜. Using soft colors instead of the usual red and gold gave it a more casual, romantic feel. Using pearlescent paper also made it look elegant. We also added bunnies inside!

*Double Happiness is a ligature, “囍” composed of 喜喜 – two copies of the Chinese characters 喜 () literally means joy, compressed to assume the square shape of a standard Chinese character (much like a real character may consist of two parts), and is pronounced as apolysyllabic Chinese character, being read as 双喜 (shuāngxǐ). -wikipedia

The invite was sectioned into three parts: The wedding- that includes everything about the ceremony. The Entourage- This page has everyone in the bridal party. Lastly, we have The RSVP- where we placed more information (what to wear, our instagram tags, facebook page…etc) regarding the event.

So, once we got our draft done, we got some of our friends (who has been-there-done-that) to check our handiwork. They thought it was the real thing! hahaha! It looked good. We had all the wordings down pat. One even commented that the look was so Pammy. I took that as a compliment. ^_^ Till we let one of our principal sponsors take a look of it. (Unknown to me, they are in the printing industry! *surprise surprise!* They would also like print our invites!!).

They asked us out for dinner meet-up they got us to choose paper stock for our wedding invites! So blessed! Just Wow!

Imagine our amazement when they handed over swatches of Prestige Paper Products and Fedrigoni Papers. They let us choose the one we like. I was over the moon! I love stationery and fancy paper! So many options all awesome paper! But we had to choose, and keeping in line with what we wanted we picked out Fedrigoni Papers for Indigo in Soho Sirio Pearl Polar Dawn.

It looks like this.

It looks like this. But the photo does not give it justice.

The photo does not give it justice at all. It has these iridescent rainbow flecks on a base of subtly shimmery cream paper. Prints and colors shows up well on the paper too! Awesome sauce pretty!

 Now all we have to do is finalize the texts inside of the invites as we have a lot of changes in those.  

 

-Need a Chinese graphic artist for your own invites? shoot me a message. ^_^