life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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scent trail

I have an agenda. I am going to AC+632 (in Greenbelt) to buy a bunch of peach/pink peonies. That being said I hurriedly asked Kei to accompany me. So, after getting my peonies. (And spending the next 30 mins or so looking at all the quirky finds inside the store.)

peonies

 

On the way back, we passed by Adora. We used to walk past, but this time Kei wanted to go exploring so we went. Inside was a trove of imported brands. Looking around one corner of the store caught my attention. Maison Francis Kurkdjian. (I have read about Francis Kurkdjian in Fragrantica!) Perfumes! I love perfumes.

MFK

Since Kei is on the hunt for a perfume. This is perfect! I told him to try and sniff around for a new scent.

He likes Francis Kurkdjian’s Aqua Universalis (A unisex scent good for daily wear. Makes me think of fresh just took a bath scent). While he was trying it out the sales representative let me try a women’s perfume that she thought would suit me.  It was Francis Kurkdjian’s Pluriel (Soft, rose, feminine floral. This to me is like a Lady who goes to a afternoon high tea).

Pluriel

Aqua Universalis on the left, Pluriel to the right.

Really liked them both. That was not a surprise as Francis Kurkdjian is a noted perfumer and has made perfumes for luxury houses like Hermes, Burberry, Elie Saab, Elizabeth Arden… etc.

On the other corner is another perfume brand. Penhaligon of London. Since we are already there might as well explore right?

penhaligon

 

The colorful displays really piqued our curiosity. What made it more interesting is that it is a brand with a history. They make perfumes for the Royal Family. 

Kei was offered Quercus. (A citrusy cologne good for daily wear. I can imagine this would be good to use on sunny days outdoors)  Then Sartorial, a woody, musky scent. (Strong, masculine scent good for dressed up occasions. It leaves the impression of a date scent to me.) Both scents are good. We also sniffed the other masculine scents that they offer but, we seem to back again to the first two offered.

kei's picks

While Kei is talking to the sales representative, I found myself reaching for Artemisia (Powdery, woody, oriental scent. Makes me think of a rich auntie). It was, apparently their best seller.  Liked it but not that much, the powdery scent makes me think that it is a bit “mature” for me. To which she quickly recommended Empressa. (Citrus, fruity, floral scent. Clean, just got out of the shower scent) This one I liked but I think the scent is a tad generic. Not really something I would go for.

my picks

I got distracted. Going back to Kei’s perfume hunt. It was unanimous.

We both agreed Sartorial is the one who wins the hunt.

 

AC+632 and Adora can be found at 2/F, Greenbelt 5

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been stalking

I have been stalking a dress.

store

Plains and Prints Robinsons Manila

 

That dress! The one Anne Curtis is wearing. I saw that huge poster around the last few days of November.

Asked for the said dress. It was still unavailable.

So, I bide my time waiting for the dress… went to different malls to look for it. Nothing.

Kei suggested we try looking at Shangri-la Mall. (this mall seems to have most of the stuff we are looking for) So we went.

We learned that the dress I want is is named Tokushima, from the Modern Metropolis collection. A limited edition and is already sold out.

So with no Tokushima dress on sight I looked for the other dresses from their Modern Metropolis collection. Two caught my eye. The Johannesburg and Moscow.

photo form plains and prints website

The  Johannesburg to the left and Moscow on the right. (photo from plains and prints website)

Tried them on and got the Johannesburg, as Kei likes it better than the other.

So, off I went, happy to get a dress. But I still wanted to see and try on the Tokushima.

Anne Curtis wearing the Tokushima dress

Anne Curtis wearing the Tokushima dress.

Not one to give up, I tried calling all the branches of their store to look for the coveted dress. Again I was told that it is a limited edition, and apparently they made 50pcs for their preview, and another 50 was distributed to the other stores. Only 100 dresses are made. Tokushima was only made in sizes s, and xs.

My chances are slim. Only one Tokushima dress is left. In xs (my size!) and it is reserved.

Arrrggghhhh! Oh well, but still hopeful …we left our number. In case the one who reserved it did not get the dress. 

After a day we got a call from Plains and Prints Greenbelt. It is now reserved to me!

Along with Kei we went to get the Tokushima.  Once in my hands I was a bit surprised that the Tokushima is not white but a pale shade of lilac grey. (was fooled by the posters!) But I like lilac. So it is not a problem for me. I went on to fit the dress and it did fit nicely.

The attendants also wanted me to try on their Madrid dress.

photos from plains and prints website

Tokushima to the left, Madrid to the right  (photos from plains and prints website)

Madrid was the one they kept recommending to me when they learned that I was looking for the Tokushima. I liked the color of madrid but it looks poofy on me. When I tried it on, I look shorter than the usual so, even if its pretty, its a no for me. 

I got the Tokushima. Finally.

My plains and prints dresses

my plains and prints purchases 

I got two dresses. The Johannesburg from Shangrila in the medium sized orange box with three ponds freebies inside! And the Tokushima from Greenbelt in the small green box.

 

*Price?  1898php per dress. 

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


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The runaway shoe: My wedding shoes

Kei and I found the shoe months ago, at the store window of Steve Madden in Shangri-La all,  it was sometime in the end of February this year if I am not mistaken. We admired it and I tried it on, It looks pretty on the shelf and even more so when worn.  It is almost close to the ten thousand pesos. I was smitten. Kei liked it too. But we didn’t buy it instantly, because we might see something better for a lower price.

And we came to regret that decision after.

This is the beauty we almost lost.

wedding shoes layout

It is a nude/champagne strappy platform sandal embellished with a lot of crystal rhinestones. I loved that it looks fancy for a photo shoot, and also covers the veins in my feet. It has a platform, so it’s stable and comfy to walk with, and the color of the shoe really goes well with my skin tone.

We vowed to get the shoe after two weeks. So, fast forward to two weeks after, we returned to Shangri-La Mall to purchase the said shoe. But to our dismay the shoe has a huge chocolate stain on the back.

I thought they must have a new stock or, we can order another from them… But we were met with a sad NO from the shopkeepers. Apparently Stores Specialists Inc. only gets some items in a limited quantity to be sold in their “elite” stores, there would be no guarantee that they would get the same shoe, or that you can find the same shoe in their other stores. I was aghast. We offered to pay in advance to order a new one. Still the answer is NO.

I was crestfallen. It is time to move on and look for another shoe.

And so we looked. We found pretty shoes from Badgley Mischka from Sm Aura and Rustans, BCBG Max Azaria at Glorietta and Shangri-La , Nine West at Sm Megamall.

fancy shoes

 

All pretty, on the same price range. But it is not the shoe. My veins on the feet are popping on full display wearing these shoes.

I was planning to find the shoe online and getting it shipped from the US. But it was unfortunately out of stock.

I gave up. I cried about the shoes.

Five months later, we saw the shoe again. This time in Robinson’s Mall Manila! Kei excitedly pointed it out to me and in a daze, we walked toward the store. I hurriedly asked for my size. They have it!

is this real?!

Is this real?! Its the shoe we are looking for! 

While I was trying it on and we confirmed that it was indeed the same shoe we seen/wanted before, Kei proceeded to pay for the shoes. We were met with a pleasant surprise! The exact shoes are now on a lower price, from almost 10 to almost 7. It was a huge difference.

In the end we are thankful that we got the shoe and got it for a lower price. We just did not appreciate the time in between seeing the shoe and getting the shoe.

We celebrated by getting a huge bowl of Mongolian rice after.

Thank you very much Kei. ❤

 

sold

 

 

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

**We conclude that the best place to search for evening/bridal shoes is at Shangri-La Mall as they have a lot of shoe selections.

***As per Chinese tradition the groom to be buys his bride to be the shoes to be used for their wedding. The bride to be then reciprocates the gesture by buying shoes for the mother of the groom to be.

 

 


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Searching for the wedding gown: The Rosa Clara experience

Kei and I learned about rosa clara from our friend, Melay who was a rosa clara bride. The concept is still the same. RTW, try before you buy. Seeing Melay’s floaty-tiered gown, we called up rosa clara for an appointment.

rosa logo

We were scheduled on a Saturday afternoon (Feb 22,2014), at 3pm. We never knew but apparently, this is the last slot. Being near greenbelt, it is very convenient for us and fits right in our schedules!

We had lunch and strolled for a bit. And off we go. Their store really has that exclusivity factor. We had to ring a doorbell before we were greeted by an attendant in all black. Being a few minutes early, we were asked to wait and fill up forms as the bride-to-be before us is not yet done with her fitting.

So we just looked around their shop. We find it impressive, sleek and modern.

Rosa Clara Philippines Interiors

Rosa Clara Philippines Interiors

Rosa Clara Philippines Interiors

rack of dresses

And thus was given a lot of gown catalogs to look at.

I think its pretty.

I think its pretty.

After almost 30mins of waiting. The bride-to-be before us is done trying out gowns. Finally, it is our turn.

We were greeted by their consultant named Yuri? (or is it Eurie? Never knew the spelling.)

She asked for my gown preference. I told her I wanted a mermaid/fit and flare. Oh, the serpentina she said. Do you want to try other silhouettes? She thinks my figure could also pull off an A-line.

I said ok. And then I am whisked off to the dressing room.

The a-line is the first dress she made me try.

Aline

It is beaded and with appliqués. Sweetheart neckline and illusion beading, natural waist.  It looks ok, I guess. But it makes me feel short. Average.

The second dress I tried on is a full lace without any beading. But, this gown has a variation.

lace with variation

I find it too plain for my liking. The other version with the slit does not look bridal. Average.

Our attendant really looks tired right now and is really going on an extra effort in attempt to be cheery and bubbly. Apparently, we are the last fitting for the day and the brides to be before me were the “primadonna” types.

She then brought out another gown. The third one.

aire barcelona

Say hello to my swimmer’s shoulders!

This is an Aire Barcelona gown. A gown from their sister company.

aire logo

 

This brand is more affordable.

It was a tube gown with a bit of beading. It makes my shoulders look bigger! Oh, the horror!  I feel so “maton” (maton is Filipino for butch) wearing this.

I felt disappointed that all I tried were average. By, this time the attendant is a bit “nagpaparinig” (Filipino term for making sure that we hear her comments) that she is tired and has a headache coming on.

Being considerate to our attendant, I am ready to leave right after I changed back to my clothes.

When a dress hanging in the corner, caught my eye. It was worn a while ago by the bride to be before we came in.

I asked if I could try it on. The last dress to try. Our attendant agreed.

This gown is a Rosa Clara soft collection. Named Uma.

It is lavishly decorated with beads and feathers that has a distinct Gatsby feel to it. Very glam.

uma

Of all the dresses I tried on, the Uma is the one I liked most. I can remember its name!

I never remembered the other gown/s (I tried on) name. That alone is enough said.

The sad thing is, it is way out of budget (more than a hundred thousand). And I also couldn’t bear to think if the feathers attached to the dress is real/ethical. Really nice, but still a no.

They lived up to the expectations, but we left feeling rushed.

That sums up our Rosa Clara experience.

 

Taking photos is allowed. Appointments is a must.   

 

Boutique– Their shop is convenient, modern and has that luxurious feel to it.

Gowns– Their gowns are very soft. No corset/boning. You might have to consider buying shapewear to wear underneath. They do have a variety of embellished and lace gowns. No bathrobe. They have clamps and binder clips.

Fitting room– They have a sitting area in their fitting room! (Kei is glad about this) They have a platform, and 3 full length mirrors! They have shoes.

Lighting– dim lighting.

Price– Is steep. Consider yourself warned.

Friendliness– The storekeeper is chatty and a bit impatient. (maybe because she is tired) But still good to talk to, and attentive.

 

Contact them:

Mobile: +632 2381310

Email: RosaClara@trimarkholdings.net

Address: Rosa Clará  Tower III of The Residences at Greenbelt. Their shop is open from 10:00am to 9:00pm daily.

 

The first RTW wedding gown search : The Mi Sueno experience (part1)

The second RTW wedding gown search : The Adorata Weddings experience

The third RTW wedding gown search: The Rosa Clara experience

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

 

 


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Time for my afternoon tea

While I love my coffee, I am also a tea drinker.

There are now a lot of TWG branches in the Philippines, and I have been to two of them Greenbelt and Newport City (Resorts World Manila).

*Not to be confused with Twinnings, another tea company. TWG  tea stands for The Wellness Group, and this luxury tea company “is a luxury concept that incorporates an international distribution network to professionals, unique and original retail outlets and exquisite tea rooms”. TWG originated from Singapore.

TWG Newport City branch

TWG Newport City branch (Resorts World Manila)

Fancy, lovely and very English! They have very luxurious uniformed look in all of their stores.

TWG branch in Greenbelt 5

TWG branch in Greenbelt 5 (the first TWG store in Philippines)

My first TWG visit was on Dec 2012 , and have been coming back once in a while.  I love their macaroons!

macaroon spread

Choose your macaroons!

They also serve cake.

TWG's Cake election

TWG’s Cake election

Their tea boutique is also quite a colorful eye candy!

twg tea boutique

twg tea boutique

Usually we go for the tea time set (Chic-Royal set), since it is a little bit of everything with the option to add more If you like. The one we chose consists of a pot of tea, sandwiches (- Prawn with Silver Moon Tea infused cream, Smoked salmon with Mascarpone and chives, Roma tomato and Moroccan Mint Tea infused sauce) and scones. *but we opted to add another tea pot.*

TWG -Tea Time (3pm-6pm) TEA TIME SET MENU-CHIC-Royal set

TWG – TEA TIME SET MENU-CHIC-Royal set

And added macaroons. (50php per piece) My favorite is the Napoleon tea & Caramel.

TWG macaroons

TWG macaroons

Their prices really reflect “couture” tea.

The extensive tea list

The tea list

But they make up for it with their luxurious  ambiance, the place is  good for dates, bonding moments with friends and family. Just don’t come here in a hungry mode as there is a waiting list (on peak hours), the service can be slow, staff is friendly and knowledgeable about tea.

My afternoon tea date Kei and me.

My afternoon tea date Kei and me.

TWG Tea Salon and Boutique
Level 1, Greenbelt 5, Legaspi Village, Makati
Operating Hours:
Monday to Thursday – 11 am to 9 pm
Friday to Saturday – 11 am to 10 pm
Sunday – 10 am to 9 pm

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