life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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resize the bling

One day, I woke up to realize this.

sorry to let you see this.

sorry to let you guys see this 

That is my wedding band on my finger. I am now getting fatter! Yikes.

While I was not that bothered about getting a bit fat, I was real sad that I cannot wear my wedding band. I love my bling of course and I wouldn’t want to remove it. What was I to do?

Get my band resized! ASAP.

So, off we went to see our church mate Atchie Helen -who has a jewelry shop and also the one who made our wedding rings. *For those asking: Atchie means sister in Chinese.

We gave her our rings. Mine to be re-sized a size bigger, Kei had his ring cleaned. And because she made our rings, our re-size is free! Thank you so much! 

*But just to make it clear, she also does a re-size for rings that are not made by her for a fee. 

Then the stones of my wedding ring was counted, then the ring was weighted – all of that was recorded. -She explains to us that when the ring comes back they would check it for the stones and the weight – ensuring that there is no switching or getting a lesser gold/value. She is thorough, careful and clear like that. So, you can rest easy that you are not going to be deceived!

Next, I also asked her to create a ring for me. Gave her my tiny sapphire and a peg of what I wanted.

remember this? my tiny sapphire is about to be made into a ring!

remember this? my tiny sapphire is about to be made into a ring!

I was honestly worried that my sapphire is too small but contrary to what I fear, Atchie Helen told me that it would do well and is actually a big stone for the design I wanted. To compensate, she will make the whole design bigger. Atchie Helen then helped me with picking out the metal, we opted to make the ring in 14K rose gold (to contrast the blue color-14K gives a pink tint I wanted, going with 18k would give it a deep saturated pink that I did not like) with white gold bezel to clearly show off the navy blue of the sapphire. I appreciated this part as if it were all up to me, I wouldn’t have thought of all that. She even educated me about jewelry and jewelry design in the process. Awesome. 

The price of my made to order ring? The original peg has a price of almost 40K. 14K rose gold and a (smaller) sapphire. (*the peg was a British design hence, the huge price tag.) With all the customization and enlargement of the design, Atchie Helen gave us a price below 15k. Sure I have my own stone but, that was a huge price difference. *Even if you cut the price of the peg into half, the quoted price was still way more affordable! 

Then after a few weeks, we got a message from her telling us that our rings are ready to be picked up! Euphoria!!! 

I was excited to go get my rings and see her and also go to her new shop at Ongpin! I have been waiting for this! 

I could stay here all day!

I could stay here all day! 

We arrived to see this. I really dig the look of her shop! Bright, modern and it has the space a lot of jewelry stores lack. 

Full house. That is Atchie Helen, the one wearing glasses.

Full house. That is Atchie Helen, the one wearing glasses.

This is a normal scene at her shop. After all Atchie Helen gives the best price and the best quality. She is comes from a family of jewelers (her dad and grandpa are jewelers too) and very much knowledgeable in precious metals and colored stones, but her expertise is actually diamonds. She designs the pieces she sells and can do made to order pieces!

The shop carries jewelry for just about everyone, young and old, male and female. Necklace, bracelet, rings, earrings, pendants, pearls, gemstones, diamonds and even corals for babies! There are also statement pieces and sets that doubles as a good investment for the future.

Unlike other jewelry stores that feels so stuffy, so uptight and judgmental… more so, once you told them what your budget is. Here they ask you what you are looking for and what your budget is. Giving you all the options they have to match/maximize your budget. Sometimes if it is permissible, even give a discount instantly to help you get what you like! #nojudgment

*So guys if you are looking for engagement rings, you know who to look for. She can very much find you a diamond within your budget. Just show her your peg and you will be amazed at her selection! There are also colored stones that look absolutely pretty! Trust me. She even accepts repairs and  re-fashioning of old jewelry into modern settings.

After all that gushing, here is the big reveal! Here is our wedding rings!-Mine is re-sized and Kei’s was cleaned.

oh shiny!

oh shiny! looking brand new

Looking good, even better when worn. The photo does not do justice to the brilliance of the ring.

Feeling like a hand model. perfect fit! 

Feeling like a hand model. finally a perfect fit!

Just beautiful. Comfortable too! Now, on to the next ring!

Wow! I said that aloud when I saw the final product of my made to order ring.

absolutely in love with my new ring!

absolutely in love with my new ring! -14K rose gold ring with blue sapphire in white gold bezel

It was bigger and better than what I expected it to be!

And because I am pretentious, I stacked them together. #feelingrich #fancy

stacked rings #fancy

stacked rings #fancy

It looks good together but admittedly a bit much. hahahaha!

So I will be wearing the wedding band on my left hand and the sapphire ring on my right.

Before we leave the shop, we requested to have a photo with Atchie Helen.

meet our favorite jeweler Helen!

meet our favorite jeweler Helen! 

And because we visited her new shop and is considered as “friends of the shop”, she gave us a small gift!

here is our bunny modeling our gift

here is our bunny modeling the fan -that was given to us as gift with purchase

How apt! We are huge fans of her wearable artwork and investment pieces.

Till the next time! 

Just leaving Atchie Helen’s Contact details here in case you guys need it. Her shop is easy to look for! Its just across Mañosa Restaurant!hdr

Check out more of her creations on Facebook!

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are our own and based on my own experience. This is not a sponsored post.

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

 

 

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scent of remembrance

Mention perfume to me and one of the images that will spring to my mind is my (late) Grandma from the father’s side. She is one classy lady with a taste for the finer things in life. She has a huge perfume collection (and adores scents from Dior), collected jewelry (gemstones), tended a garden full of (scented) tropical flowers and only wore tailored clothes. She has perfectly maintained curly white-grey hair, always seen wearing a muted pink lipstick and smells heavenly even if she only stays at home.

Fancy. I know. More so, now that I can comprehend a bit of how fabulous she and her life was. 

I can recall my childhood days with her walking around the living room carefully arranging freshly cut flowers on the vase. She normally uses Sampaguita (Jasmine) as altar flowers. But for home decorating, her flower of choice was locally known as Rosal (or a Gardenia).

Rosal/Gardenia photo taken from the internet

Rosal/Gardenia photo taken from the internet

I loved that it looks and smells lovely.  The scent alone reminds me of her. 

But my Grandma is already in another place now, her tailored clothes are nowhere to be found, the gemstones are already lost, the garden which she lovingly tended has grown tangled and unruly, her regal home is now a a empty shell of beauty it once was. Soon enough, the house was sold, along with the fragrant garden. The said house holds a lot of my childhood memories as I grew up there with my cousins before we move to Manila to go schooling, I sometimes still think about it, I also miss my grandma, from the soft touch of her wrinkled skin and her faint lingering smell of perfume.

I was only fifteen when she went away. Was given a small jade pendant (she once wore, is all I have) to remember her by. 

If only I have the brains then to save cuttings of her beloved plants, to be replanted to pots. Even only her signature flower the Rosal.

So, I searched for a Rosal. I asked around, and came up empty. After months of asking. I was about to give up. 

I was resigned to the fact that the memory and the scent is lost and I should just go sniffing bottles of her (used to be) perfume/s to remember her. Then Kei took me to the relocated Manila seedling bank, It is now on Quezon City circle.

There it was. A rather huge sized shrub with shiny dark green leaves.

A Rosal plant about to bud.

Without much thought we brought the plant along with a huge pot and soil. All the thought of gross-ness went out the window as we took turns carrying the huge and heavy potted plant back home. Kei took good care of it and as of now it has many buds ready to bloom anytime soon. We named it “Groot” from the Guardians of the Galaxy.

We got a flowering plant to remember her by, I think my Grandma would smile at the idea.

I am excited to see it bloom and also get Kei to smell what the rosal smells like. 

It smells like the scent of remembrance to me.

For that I am grateful.


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seeing blue

Kei accopanied me stroll around Greenhills to look for someone who could restring my (mother’s side) grandma’s pearls. After a short while we got someone willing to restring and add a few more pearls for a fee. Search is over.

To pass the time we found ourselves looking at all the loose multicolored gemstones displayed on the glass cases. No plans on buying. Just window shopping.

Then we got curious. Asked prices of their ready to wear jewelry, the price is actually reasonable. Then we turned to ask about the loose gemstones in the glass cases. They sell it by piece, then you get a “latero” (Filipino/Philippine term for jewelry maker) to set the stone for you.

I asked for a blue sapphire. They offered me a lot!

Pretty huge ones that reminds me of Kate Middleton’s ring. Best of all, you can haggle. Just wow.

Kate Middleton photo from www.marieclaire.co.uk

Kate Middleton photo from http://www.marieclaire.co.uk

*Just in case you are curious, there is an abundance of Kate Middleton’s ring look alike/s there!

I told them I wanted a small round one. To be made into an everyday ring I could wear without the fear of losing my engagement ring. I was given a lot of options. They were actually convincing me to go with a bigger stone! But no, that would look tacky on me. Think granny-ish. No offense to the grandmas out there, I just think it’s still not age appropriate for me to wear a huge rock.

 

Something like this. Stephen Einhorn "love" ring photo from the internet

Something like this.
Stephen Einhorn “love” ring photo from the internet

There are natural sapphires (pricier/differs in color/may have inclusions), and lab created (cheaper/looks perfect) ones, in all sorts of colors. All huge, by that I mean as big as a thumbnail, should that be too small for your liking they also have bigger stones as big as a thumb. I insisted that I wanted a small natural one. So they handed me a melee of natural blue sapphires (from India) to choose from. There were hearts, rounds, ovals, square, baguettes…etc. and in different shades of blue. It was overwhelming.

melee sapphires

melee sapphires (photo from the internet, we don’t have an actual photo of the melee we chose from)

Kei helped me choose what to get from the melee. While I really tried to remember how my Grandmother’s (from the father’s side this time) sapphires look. When she was still with us, she taught me to look for good color, vividness of the stone, she always says gemstones must always look “alive”. Unlike my mother’s side grandma, my father’s side grandma collects gemstones.

shades of sapphires

shades of sapphires

The best color is royal blue. The least valued is the black blue color.

And also look at the stone clarity. Must be eye clean at least and clear for light to pass through it and make the stone “alive”.

Sapphire Clarity

stone clarity

In the end, we picked out a natural royal blue sapphire, vivid and I believe very good clarity!

Not a huge one of course, it’s actually pretty small.  Its extremely hard to get the color right in the photo, it looks dark here, but it is a royal blue color. Sorry, this was my best shot.

My own sapphire with a one Philippine peso to scale. With the calling card of the stall.

My own sapphire with a one Philippine peso to scale, along with the calling card of the stall.

But it’s a pretty stone nonetheless; even the shopkeepers told us that we got the best one in the pile.

Even the shop owner validated that we did get a good one.

I am pretty sure we will go back here someday.

 

*They have sapphires in other colors too.

**they also have other gemstones like rubies, emeralds, spinels, tanzanite, jade…etc

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

 

 


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some more pearls for grandma

My grandma (mother’s side) recently turned 85 last July 24.

For that joyful occasion, I got her a pearl necklace.

grandma's pearls

The two strand pearl necklace I got for my Grandma.

I don’t know why, usually grandmas love pearls. I dislike them for that reason. No pearls for me. 

But my Grandma likes them so much, she collects them. She has them in a pale pink, white, cream, gold and grey. No black. (black is not a good color according to Chinese superstitions)  I don’t know the exact count of her pearl collection.  

All I know is she adores them. She wears them daily. She even matches them with her outfit!

She always has a single strand of round pearls, with pearls studs on her ears. They are her fashion staple.

 

So, when I was looking for a gift for her birthday, I need to get her something I never got her before.

(On her past birthdays I got her a ink portrait, a pink fluffy bathrobe, swarovski necklace… etc)

I never got her pearls. Till this birthday.

She loved it! Even my aunts liked the unique shape of this necklace. 

Awesome-NOT.

 

Apparently, the necklace doesn’t fit.

That left us all baffled. Before I gave it to her I tried wearing it at home, along with my Mum, my Sister, even our Nanny tried it on, it fits us all. ( twisted to two strand)

But when Grandma tried to wear it, she cannot twist and loop the necklace into two strand.

Its just a long weird strand of pearls on her.  I need to get the necklace re stringed with additional pearls. 

 

That got us thinking, do people’s heads grow wider as they age? We think it does.


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thankful friday

The highs of my week.
thankful friday

thankful friday

1.  I finally got to blog again!
2. A midweek candlelit dinner date with Kei.
3. I already brought my Grandma a gift for her birthday. (I got a good bargain!)
4. I received a message from my former Nanny, after a long time of no communication! (She is in Dubai now.)
5. Today, I am celebrating 33 months with Kei.
The best days of the week are here again!
a very cute french bulldog - photo from tumblr

a very cute french bulldog – photo from tumblr

“I could not tell you if I loved you the first moment I saw you, or if it was the second or third or fourth. But I remember the first moment I looked at you walking toward me and realized that somehow the rest of the world seemed to vanish when I was with you.”— Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Prince


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happy valentine’s day!

happy valentine’s day everyone!

photo from pinterest

photo from pinterest

I am off to celebrate the day with my lovely Grandma! Plus, the family…as always.

My valentine date with Kei will be moved to the weekend. Because I think it would be a bad idea to join the rush/splurge for valentine’s when we can get a better deal on a less “peak day for dates”.  Besides heavily packed/noisy restaurants are not exactly a romantic place. *Just being practical here.*

and lastly a friendly reminder,

Gifts of love need not be expensive, just heart-felt. 


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guiltily overfed

skinny eating

skinny eating

This past weekend was glorious. Mainly because of the glorious food.

I was craving for Shakey’s mojos last Saturday after work, I headed straight to meet Kei for a  hearty lunch. As expected, we ate a lot . We had a platter of mojos, a whole pizza, soda and carbonara. It was bliss.

Till the clouds turned to rain and it flooded the entire Metro Manila.  That we had to wade through flood waters to bring me home. Icky stuff. By dinner, Mum and Dad brought home take-outs. It is saturday and it is takeout day at home.  Dig in to a huge plate of fried rice, barbecue and noodles and a glass of soda.

Next morning, after church and baptismal class. Kei and I celebrated our 23rd month. (one month to go and we are already 2 years together!) We thought it would be nice to eat crabs at The Red Crab for lunch. A king crab it was, we barely even touched our rice. That crab maritess was good.

Come dinner time, I am off to meet my mother’s side cousins as it was my Grandma’s birthday. We went to IMC Kavino at Jupiter Makati for a Cantonese dinner. The food was so good and Chef Kavino is very friendly! Again I ate a lot till I cannot eat anymore. A weekend of eats. I feel guilty.

I talked to my cousins, they are really slim. (I am the odd/fatty one) and they actually recommended a diet for me.

As of the moment, I have just started reading the book they gave me. It is the Renegade Diet by Jason Ferruggia.

I am really curious to try this out.