life of a cuddlebit

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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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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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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.