life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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well, I am DIY-ing my beads

While I wanted to add colored metal to my Pandora bracelet, I cannot shell out 9k plus for just one (1) solid gold Pandora spacer. Its just ridiculous. 

taken from Pandora’s website

I really like the twisted design though… and I wanted it in solid gold. Not like the new gold plated beads (Pandora Shine) that Pandora recently introduced. 

So, after some thought, I had a pair of gold spacers custom made. It took quite some time for trial and error, because I had one made and used it to cast the other.  I also used the old gold of my childhood earring to be recycled to add to my spacers.

my childhood earrings

While it is NOT from Pandora. I got good value for my money. Because instead of the initial plan of getting the spacers in 14k I had it made into 18K. And got the (2) pair for the price of 14,500php! -kind of like getting one 18k gold spacer for 7,250php that is still cheaper than one 14k spacer from Pandora. Its a good deal. And for the reveal… here are my custom made 18k solid gold spacers!  They might look small, but surprisingly they have a feel of weight to it.

My 18k gold twist spacers

So why did I choose to get 18k?

Gold is measured in karats. This unit of measurement tells us the percentage of gold in a piece. 18K gold (which is 75% gold) is the traditional mix of gold and other alloys, and it lends itself to making beautiful jewelry. This karat amount is less expensive than 24K but is very commonly used in fine jewelry making. Its coloring is a softer yellow than the deeper yellow of 24 karat, but the soft golden tone of the 18k is much more desirable in comparison to the paler 14K coloring.

To demonstrate the color here is a photo of 14k and 18k. 

see the color difference?

The most common type of gold used in jewelry in the U.S. is 14K and it was created to make a gold piece more affordable, at the expense of having less gold. This karat amount contains 58.3% gold, and similar to 18K, its strength is a good fit for rings and bracelets to necklaces and earrings.  14K was selected for a simple reason though… it is because it is just over half gold.  In addition to less gold and a smaller price, 14K tends to have less of a yellow color relative to 18K or higher.

Here is another photo in a different light.

On hand – the 14k pales in comparison to the 18k spacer.

And the beauty of getting solid gold is that should I get tired of the spacers I could get it melted and made into another trinket. 

My bracelet is now looking a bit put together and is now obviously looking two toned! I still haven’t decided if I am going to get clips. But right now I am pretty pleased with how it looks. I might add another pair of spacers once I decided if I wanted gold or go with rose gold for variation. I am very much indecisive, I know! If I could I would get all the stuff I like. I am limited only because I have budget to consider. Hahahaha! Help me decide?

two toned and loving it!

After all I still have a lot of room to spare on my bracelet. What do you think of my custom made spacers? Let me know your thoughts. 

*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, I paid for this (from) my own pocket. 

 

 

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kind of a DIY bracelet

I am so late to the party but better late than never right? In my case, I am quite late and slow on curating my Pandora charm bracelet! 

As children my best friend and I admired bracelets be it chains, bangles, half chain but we had a soft spot specially for charm bracelets –those chunky and dangly ones that has some round bells on it always catches our eyes. We got ours right before college. We wore it for quite a while and then, it got lost and that was that.

By 2014 (I think) Joanna showed me her new charm bracelet acquisition. A Pandora bracelet was on her arm and she already had some charms on it. I wanted one of course! But I controlled myself by saying I cannot spend money for a new bracelet since my wedding is eating up all my funds.

Pandora collier bracelet 

Come late 2015, Joanna surprised me with a Pandora bracelet on my bridal shower. It also has a language of love charm on it too!

to the left: Language of love charm that came with the bracelet Jo gave me. Right: A two tone Bearhugs charm -the first charm given to me by Kei

Then after the wedding Kei got me the Bearhugs and family heritage charm. All of my Pandora stuff are treasured gifts!

two tone Family heritage charm from Kei

I left it at that.

I did buy a charm to give though! (this was early 2016) I got Jo a Elsa Crown charm.

Elsa’s crown- from the Disney movie frozen

It reminds me of her (high school) uniform color that is blue, and fits with her being a December baby, and that it is a crown! So she got that added to her collection. Her bracelet has a blue/green theme to it that the Elsa crown fits in nicely.

So back to my collection. I wanted my bracelet to have a mix metal look. No glass. No color. Just all metals.

There was a charm that I really wanted though I cannot seem to find it. The Disney frozen snowflake charm. – It was exclusively sold in Disney parks, and we don’t have it here in the Philippines. I loved the geometric lines of the charm and I appreciate that it was kind of like a “special snowflake”, plus being born in winter also makes it a nice charm to have for me. So, thought I could find it from online sellers (this was on 2016), but I never did.

Last year (around the end of 2017) I really wanted to add something  to it and started looking for a safety chain. I have been indecisive as to get it or not since the charm was a bit pricey, so I went about looking for a pre-loved one –with a good “history” of course. The owner of the chain has her bracelet full of charms and wanted to free up some space to fit in one more charm. I mulled it over and went about my usual “window shopping” and still did not get any…It was Kei that got impatient and ended up getting the chain for me as part of my Christmas gift.

Love connection safety chain

Upon looking a lot at the net I discovered that I can get a online shopper to find that elusive Disney frozen snowflake! But I have to wait for a month for it to arrive. I excitedly told Kei and Jo and they teamed up to get it for me. I am lucky, I know. I am going to have that snowflake by the end of January.

Disney Frozen Snowflakes Charm

I just got the charm yesterday! -On the Blue blood moon day! And It was beautiful!

My bracelet is now most predominantly silver. So I am setting my sights to add a new metal to my bracelet to add variety. I wanted to get rose gold-because it is cheaper than the ridiculously priced gold charms. And I really, really like the color. I have set my sights on the shining path clip in rose gold. I wanted to get a pair, so my charms doesn’t slide around. (It is annoying when they do that.) And maybe a spacer or two? Any suggestions?

Update: I bit the gold bullet. I went to ask for a pair of custom made 14k gold spacers from my jeweler. I chose the design below as the inspiration. While mine won’t be legit Pandora, it is still 14k gold,  just more affordable for me – I can get it melted and re made into another trinket if I do get tired of it. *Will update once I get my hands on it. 

the 14 k twist gold spacer from Pandora

 

*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, we paid for this (from) our own pocket. 

 


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regal in every way

Back when I was in the wedding preparation stage, I had one huge problem.

How was I going to dance when my wedding gown is constricting?!

Obvious Pammy answer: Get a dress made.

My friend from church recommended Aoui Regala.

Yes those are her creations and yes again that is Aoui. (photo taken from her facebook page)

Yes those are her creations and yes again that is Aoui. (photos taken from her facebook page)

Young,fresh and pretty! Ang friendly pa niya. promise. 

I emailed her my peg and waited for a estimate.

Yes, I am aware that both my pegs are black. (left: A dress Carey Mulligan wore, right: A h&m dress) all photos are from the internet

Yes, I am aware that both my pegs are black. (left: A dress Carey Mulligan wore, right: A h&m dress) all photos are from the internet

What I want: a sleeveless bateau top with the high-low hem and the train. In blush pink with a bit of beading. Key words are: Structured and simple-nothing over the top with a bit of sparkle.

I set the date for appointment. But unknown to me, the days leading before the appointment Aoui’s daughter has been admitted at the hospital. And it was still unknown what the cause is.

So she is very worried and has to stay with her daughter at the hospital.

The day before the fitting I texted her to confirm and she told me her situation. I was worried for her (I am praying that it is a minor thing, and that her daughter is okay.) and also a bit worried about myself too-with my rigid 6 days a week work schedule, I don’t have much wiggle room in terms of schedule. (Will the dress be done on time?- I contacted Aoui early November and I need the dress before mid December. It’s a very rush job.)

I volunteered to go to the hospital to get measured, so that she wouldn’t have to leave her daughter’s side. But she refused and told me that she will still go to her atelier.

So after a quick hello she got my measurements in less than fifteen minutes.

After a few days Aoui told me that the cause of her daughter’s admission was respiratory tract infection and acute bronchitis.

Acute bronchitis is a clinical syndrome produced by inflammation of the trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles. In children, acute bronchitis usually occurs in association with viral respiratory tract infection. Acute bronchitis is rarely a primary bacterial infection in otherwise healthy children.- from www. medscape.com

And that her daughter is okay and recovering. I was very much relived to know that all is well. As well as gave me updates on the progress of the dress.

On the next fitting, I got to wear the dress and see the embellishments on the dress!

aoui fitting

I love my dress!

And they just noted the length of the train I wanted. –they gave out an excess of fabric should I want a longer train…they did not scrimp on fabric. Di nila ako tinipid!

left: that would be me talking to Aoui (pixelated the photo as she was in work mode that day) and right: I am probably doing the chicken dance. lols.

left: that would be me talking to Aoui (pixelated the photo as she was in work mode that day) and right: I am probably doing the chicken dance. lols.

They took the time to ask me if I was comfortable, asked me to move around, sit, wave, spin.. etc. to be sure that the fit was perfect. We even chatted for quite a bit! And best of all they did all these even if I was 30 mins late on my appointment.-I think I was the last client of the day. Di nila ako minadali.

At the last fitting, I just hurriedly fit and claimed the dress. I remember it was raining so hard that day and I was late again. They packed my dress in a waterproof garment bag to help us on our way and I was really, really grateful that Aoui and her team thought of that. I got soaked that day but my dress was pristine. Thank heavens.

On the day of the wedding, I did a few “glam” shots with Aoui’s creation. The dress looks beautiful on the photos, and absolutely more stunning in real life.

All these photos are grabbed from Aoui’s Facebook page.

aoui1

Blush Duchess Satin dress by Aoui Regala Atelier / Photo by RealityBox

aoui2

Blush Duchess Satin dress by Aoui Regala Atelier / Photo by RealityBox

aoui3

Blush Duchess Satin dress by Aoui Regala Atelier / Photo by RealityBox

Look at how tiny my waist looks like. Aoui did that magic!

Best of all I did get to dance!

I danced to Ed Sheeran’s- Thinking out loud and Walk the Moon’s- Shut up and Dance that are both not exactly a slow dance type of song! I did all that arm movements and fancy footwork. Best of all I did not feel constrained and worried that I may bust a seam or any unwanted exposure, the fit was perfect.

The only stolen photo of us dancing to thinking out loud.-all the other photos we have right now is blurry.

The only stolen photo of us dancing to thinking out loud.-all the other photos we have right now is blurry.

And after the dance you can just see that I worked up a sweat and beaming a very much relived and glad-I-made-it smile. And yes that’s Matti by my side.

All smiles! I pulled off the dance! (that would be Matti on the left)

All smiles! I pulled off the dance! (that would be Matti on the left)

You have been more than my designer but a friend to me Aoui. Thank you so much.

5outof5Rating 6 out of 5. (exceeded our expectations) The way Aoui treats clients is like being a friend who cares to listen and does what’s best for you, even if it means that she would not profit that much. She is very thorough and meticulous with her dresses and she does not scrimp on fabric or quality! To her, clients are not just a source of income but also a new connection, a new friend. I like that with her you can feel at ease and be sure that you would look regal in every way!

See Aoui’s creations for yourself! here is a link to Aoui Regala Atelier.

*Mention that you are a reader of Pam’s blog to her and she would be sure to help you out. 

 **All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience. This is not a sponsored post ,I paid for my reception dress from my own pocket.


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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?