life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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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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a pasalubong pop

We have always dreamed about going to Japan, because we love the culture, the anime and their awesome food. But since we are not that lucky/or rich enough to go there we are contented to have pasalubongs from friends who visit Japan. *Japanese embassy please adopt us!* This time we got one from Kei’s brother. He works for a tech company in Japan (lucky him!) and is done with his Japanese work contract and will now be staying here in the Philippines for good (the same company of course). Its  a double win for us.

Here is the contents of the pasalubong bag.

pasalubong

not all of these are mine, I share this with Kei.

Not exactly extravagant in any way but hey it has our toys! I asked for the Daenerys Pop because I saw it on Amazon Japan. Pops are not that famous in Japan because they have their own version, the very detailed and posable Nendoroid. I like Nendoroids but I cannot collect them due to them being much pricey-er than pops. And because I have already started on pops and they do not have GOT pops… 

So here is my Daenerys that I have waited for!

finally after a long wait

finally after a long wait

The box is not in a good condition it has dents but it is still ok with me, after all it traveled a long way. The weird thing with this pop is that it came with a note and a receipt plus a business card with a map to the store that sold this pop.

If only I can understand the note...

I am loving the bunnies on the note! Now, if only I can understand the note… 

Japanese people really do things on a different level.

Time to unbox this pop! From the time I picked up the box I already saw the imperfections of this pop, but since this certain pop is real hard to find now, I cannot be picky. Adding to that is the fact that this is an old pop. Old pops = bad paint jobs and bad details. Oh well.

hair strand slightly detached, eye not

hair strand slightly detached, and is that an eyebag I see? oh the eye paint is not aligned. 

Let us view the turn around of this pop. Here we go!

doing the full turn

doing the full turn

Definitely not a perfect pop. I think this is the most imperfect pop I own right now. But its ok, I am still glad to have her.

Our Khal is definitely thrilled to be reunited with his Khaleesi!

reunited and it feels so good...

finally together!

Just for this time the sun rises in the west and sets in the east for the Khal and Khaleesi.

Sigh, Nothing like a good (pop) reunion. Enjoy the long weekend everyone! 

 


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in search of a rabbitdog with a bushy tail aka evee

Pokemon Go has just been launched in the Philippines and of course Kei was already playing the moment they released it! It even made him walk from our home to my office. Oh the wonders of portable wifi.

Pokemon-go-logo

I started playing last saturday night- Aug 6,2016. With the intention to just try it out.

I wanna be the very best! catching everything I see... even if its just a Staryu.

I wanna be the very best! – catching everything I see… even if its just a Staryu. *this was taken at robinsons magnolia last aug 7, 2016

After a whole day at work, I also got the app once I got home. I am very much curious and I watched Pokemon as a kid so I can relate, I wanted to go try it out for myself. And promptly got my first Charmander.

all mine

the first three

Followed by a Rattata then a Pidgey, Magicarp followed and lastly by a very confused Psyduck. Those are the Pokemons that reside in our home. Pretty common ones, but we do really have a lot or real pigeons at home so maybe it is only right that their Pokemon counterparts are also found at our home.

After much grumbling and no wild pokemons, I saw someone nearby set out a lure on a Pokestop to trap Pokemons. I decided that I would head out. Kei was adamant since I wanted to go out at 12 midnight. He relented and accompanied me to the market (two corners away from home) that was as far as he allowed us to go. –I never made it to the Pokestop. Its technically three corners away from home.

I did get pokemons but just not what I wanted. I wanted a Evee.

So that midnight trip out, I used one of the incense and got a Poliwag, Pinsir and numerous Pidgeys for heading out at night. I just turned the low levels into candies.

second batch! -I used incense for the pinsir and poliwag. I also caught numerous Pidgeys

second batch! -I used incense for the pinsir and poliwag. I also caught numerous Pidgeys *bonus that psyduck was the last Pokemon I caught before venturing out. 

The next day, was a normal day for us. I went to scrub the patio and Kei did some home decor project. After lunch he asked me where I wanted to go. I told him that we could continue playing pokemon at the mall. Then came the next question, what mall do we go to? After a bit of thought, I asked to go to Robinsons magnolia because they have a park = possible pokemon spawning ground, they have Daiso, Gourdo’s, True Value, Starbucks, a food court, supermarket and National bookstore all of which are our usual haunts. So a quick 30 mins later we are headed to the mall! On the way I managed to get a lot of Rattatas again, some Magikarp….

Then Goldeen, Horsea, Tentacool, a lot of Weedles and two Venonat.

pretty common ones...

pretty common ones…

Again, those that are low levels are made into candies.

At the mall we saw that there are lures on every Pokestop! (they have 3) That got me very excited to try my luck in catching more! So first few casts yielded Staryu, Weepinbell, Pidgeys and Pidgeottos. I was getting a bit sad I tried walking away and moving to another area, when I spotted my first Evee! I hurriedly caught it and never moved away in hopes of getting more and true enough! I got three more Evees!

my highest level Evee

my highest level Evee

Then it was back to the Pidgeys again. As I was about to give up and just go malling, I got a Bellsprout, Dudrio and Pinsir. Not bad.

that would be my Bellsprout, Dodrio and lastly the Slowpoke

that would be my Bellsprout, Dodrio and lastly the Slowpoke

Going back home we decided to get a massage and while walking I encountered a Slowpoke. But that was just the only one I got. The rest are Pidgeys and Rattatas again. Hopefully my next hunt will yield something better. For now, I am very much content with my Evees.

Soon I am going to explore Ortigas area to get myself a Pikachu I was told they are found in Megamall.

So, from trying it out to wanting to collect them all, I must say this game is highly addictive!

I wanted to catch more Pokemons and making some Pokefriends along the way would make this even better!

*need more detailed tutorial? Maybe getting Pikachu as your starter pokemon? check out Kei’s blog about Pokemon Go Philippines! Happy Hunting!

 


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Our pop from away

I am away from my desk today, but I still have a pop for my weekly pop Friday. This time my pop is a gift from my cousin Jacky that traveled all the way from Manhattan, NY USA- to Manila, Philippines!

This is our first international pop! I am thrilled!

fresh

fresh from the USA!

We got the San Diego Comic Convention exclusive 2016 – Doctor Strange.

The box made it in perfect condition! I was not expecting this to be here so early. Because usually it takes a month after for local stores to have stock of the last month’s exclusives plus the higher price. My cousin knew that this pop is the only one that caught my fancy. 

I definitely dig the box as well as the art.

I definitely dig the box as well as the art.

I got it Wednesday night right after a long day at work and I felt so happy all my tiredness just faded away replaced with excitement that I have a new toy.

out of the box

out of the box and out to play

It looks as good as I thought it would. –I have looked it up before on YouTube reviews. It is indeed detailed and also looking real cool with the translucent rune in his hand. There are also texture details in his cape! the leg and the sash detail also adds to the appeal.

turn around

turn around

I also have to add that our cousin even got one for her own upon seeing the pop. It is that pretty.

there is the rune and the streaks on the hair

Details that was awesome -the details on the rune and the streaks on the hair.

To top that all off its value has risen up to 30usd.

Not bad

Not bad at all. 

To be honest I don’t know Doctor Strange save for the fact that its movie is going to be released soon. But Kei, being the HUGE geek he is…knows and follows the comics and he likes Dr Strange and that was the reason we picked the pop when our cousin asked us what we wanted to get from the SDCC 2016 exclusive.

We count ourselves lucky that we have our pop without having to wait in line to get a pop. -Because this is the usual when they release exclusives in the Philippines. The struggle is real.

What did you get from the 2016 sdcc exclusives?

 

*technically written on a Friday, just posted on a Saturday. 


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fancy strings and genius laundry stuff

Who could have thought there will come a time that I will get excited getting a new sampayan and laundry stuff?!

I am getting to old auntie level real fast.

Because I am seriously happy and excited about my new sampayan and sipit! A huge thank you to Kei for installing the fancy sampayan! woot!

*sampayan = clothesline, sipit = clothespin. 

home improvement for the rainy days

our tiny home improvement for the rainy days

Lately, I cannot do my laundry because I cannot dry the laundry! The rain is messing up my weekly chore schedule. Also making the daily commute back home a real pain. The rain also killed off my tomato plant. Making me hate it even more.

So, these days we dry our clothes indoors – mainly in the living room. Thankfully we have a small aluminum clothes rack to serve as our indoor clothesline. But I dislike doing that because it cramps up our space and it looks like we are having some kind of garage sale inside the house. Not to mention having the clothes so close to each other, it dries up a lot slower. Making it prone to have that damp smell. 

That being said, Here is my solution to the damp problem: I mix in a bit of white vinegar with my laundry to counter the musty smell. *life hack* & also use a fabric conditioner.

Even with a sunny weather there is still a chance of my clothes sliding and clumping together on the clothesline. It is another pet peeve of mine. 

This regular nylon string sampayan (clothesline) has to go. It has served us well for the past 6 months. -Due to the weight of some of our clothes(ie pants), all of the other clothes usually bunches up in the middle. Making laundry drying time uneven and longer. Some dries faster than the others and some that got clumped together in the middle stay damp for longer.  That we end up pinning all the hangers to the clothesline. We had a lot of other issues with this too. -broken pegs and sometimes laundry knocked down to the floor due to strong winds. 

We will still use this for another purpose.

We will still use this for another purpose.

I like my clothes evenly spaced apart for maximum airflow. That means a faster drying time.

So imagine my smile when I found this at Daiso last Saturday. It was an automatic buy! It is a nylon clothesline with spacers to accommodate the hanger/s securely and evenly! No more sliding and clumping together of wet clothes, plus I did not have to pin every hanger on the clothesline! I need not worry about strong winds knocking off my hanger and laundry down!

Leave it to the Japanese to think of weirdly useful everyday stuff like these. Genius! 

Say hello to fancy sampayan! (clothesline)

Say hello to our fancy sampayan! (clothesline) -this was found at Daiso: 5meters for 88php

We also went to check out the new Miniso store and ended up getting new clothespins to add to our existing clothespins. We got it for 99php. Honestly, we have a lot of wooden clothespins at home, I just got the new clothespins for the hanging basket it has. Plus the color is nice. That has to count right?!

mini

The color is really pretty! I also like the hanging basket!

So that is our tiny home improvement for the rainy days.

As for our standard laundry stuff: we use these nifty things to make our laundry workload easier. Here are the hangers we use daily.

hangers

On the left are the ones we use for our denim pants, to the right are the ones for shirts.

This is our collapsible drying hanger that is massive. (Sometimes I even hang my cotton shorts here.) 

mega

This is my lifesaver when I really need to dry our clothes indoors.

The green hangers above and the collapsible hangers are both of the same brand – JIGO. That was the brand my mum uses. It is sturdy, because it is made from quality plastic that makes it resistant to breaking.  We got the above items from the almighty Divisoria.

I also love these expanding hangers that we got for drying our bath towels.

13819835_10153707985862967_812851819_n

pull and expand!

Last but not the least are the laundry mesh bags for the small items. Just toss them in the bag and zip. toss in the washing and no more looking for the missing pair of socks! I also got the circular bags for washing bras so that the pads will not get dented.

mesh bags for the washing machine

mesh bags for the washing machine

The expanding hangers and mesh bags are both from Daiso.

So that concludes my laundry stuff.

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

 


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acquired tea

While I am not a huge tea drinker, I do enjoy having a cup of tea from time to time.

I enjoy it more as a dessert or as a scent!

matcha -photo from the internet

green tea (matcha) -photo from the internet

I am particularly enjoying the Elizabeth Arden Green Tea scent spray that was given to me as a gift. It has a crisp, clean scent that is fresh and soothing.

Photo taken the day I got the bottle. – I am halfway through it right now. If only the scent stays for longer.

Photo taken the day I got the bottle. – I am halfway through it right now. If only the scent stays for longer.

On “eating” tea – I have a particular favorite.  Matcha – the ground green tea powder.

I had it as a hot/cold drinks, ice cream and the numerous KitKats I used to get as a pasalubong (souvenir) whenever someone goes to japan. I was just drawn to the color of it and the uniqueness. In time I have grown to like it enough to get me to “hunt” for matcha. It is an acquired taste. 

the ubiquitous matcha green tea -photo from the internet

the ubiquitous matcha green tea -photo from the internet

Later on Matcha KitKat can be found in most supermarkets here (in the Philippines). That made me happy and my personal rule is if can find it in the supermarket, one or more is sure to end up in my cart. *Its usually more than one and I also get the dark KitKats, to stock up at home. 

Imagine my surprise when I saw this at a store near our place. -I am not exactly sure if this is new or limited time only (I haven’t seen it at the place where I do my groceries)…but I am happy to see them! 

happy to have found these!

happy to have found these!

We now have Matcha KitKat ice cream (locally)! That is kind of like a 3 in 1 of my favorite sweets. -I like the taste of this ice cream but I find that it melts quickly.  

Nice and sweet! -But in true matcha style; not overtly so. Kudos to Nestle Philippines for making matcha available locally!

 

*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 the KitKats from my own pocket. 

 


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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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round two

After a long time of NOT reading books, I am back to reading again.

All thanks to my good friend Matti who sends me books from time to time. He knows that I will not buy my own books. -sorry but its kind of a long story. I have re-read this book.

made me smile

made me smile

And finished the whole book in a day.

This is a light read and has a unique way of telling a (young) love story. Its cute and sweet and doesn’t require much understanding – a good read for me because I read to relax.

Its a feel good read. Made me smile.

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are my own and based on my own experience. This is not a sponsored post, the book was a gift from my friend Matti.


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from paper to fabric

I designed my wedding entourage’s attire. (only the design not the execution) -if only I knew how to sew. 

Our inspiration/motif was a sunset.

photo from google

photo from google

That means blue, purple/plums, pinks, peach with the accent of gold and silver. So we created a color palette and some fabric swatches.

 

my fabric swatches!

my fabric swatches!

Then I went on to sketch my designs for each of females on my entourage. Floor length gowns for the maids of honors and cocktail dresses for the bridesmaids.

yes, I sketched those.

yes, I sketched those.

On my mind all the bridesmaids wear peach with gold accents. The maid of honor –my sister and my best friend get different colors. For my sister it was to be blush pink accented with silver (her skintone is on the cool side), on my best friend it is going to be peach and gold accents (my bestfriend has a warm skintone). I was so excited I even brought beads to be used for their dresses!

*I also designed all of their dresses according to their body type. -I also got their approval before I finalized my sketch and placed in their bridesmaids kit.

I also designed our flower girls’ gown! – I actually created this close to the real thing! -photo of the gown I had in mind using photoshop. I felt the need to illustrate the color shifting of the skirt. This is the peg I gave.

princess-y and poofy!

princess-y and poofy!

– For all the males we picked out colors we liked them to wear then went to look for polos and ties in that color. *easy because theirs was rtw.* The little boys had theirs made to order from another seamstress. -We did however pick out their colors to match their partners.

We got Bonaobra Couture to make the entourage gowns. Their shop fairly simple (divisoria area) but it is accessible to the majority of our entourage. -this is the main reason why we chose them. (we do however have two of our entourage that lives in the south) *I also believe that their gowns look better than the others within the same vicinity.-they are also priced a bit higher*

We went to give them my sketches, the beads to be used and fabric swatches. Paid the down payment and told them to start.

So we got them to make the sketches to reality. Which they sort of did. 

the final output- the gowns in action

the final output- the gowns in action

But not without difficulty as there are some made a bit tight (this was easily remedied), one that was made in a different color than I expected (surprise! surprise!) and one completely off from the design- that was modified. The flowergirls dresses are almost perfect save for the 3d flower applique issue that I slaved over.

what the kids wore

what the kids wore – actual dresses and the suit for the little boys

Two of my bridesmaids had their dresses loosened by an inch. easy enough.

What they had major issues on were the gowns of my sister and my bestfriend. My two maids of honor.

See my sister’s (the only one in pomelo pink from the photo above) gown is supposed to be blush pink- probably due to miscommunication from shop to the sewers it turned out to be pomelo pink, that was really my mother’s chosen color for her own dress. *I wanted it like a ombre of colors-the mature set wears deep colors and the younger set wears lighter colors.* -My mother and Kei’s mother also had their gowns made at Bonaobra. But I wont be posting it-they are a bit shy. For the record their gowns are beautiful.  

My best friend’s gown presented another problem in the waist drape detail. They totally failed this one. (see the long peach gown from the photo above)

*Which I never knew until I asked Jo about her gown the week of the wedding. She thinks there is something wrong with the gown but she does not want me to worry about her or her gown that she kept silent. After much prodding… and self blame.

explain to us what happened

Photo taken inside the shop. -please explain to us what happened. 

She went on to send me this photo that she took when she tried out the dress, before claiming it. (this photo was taken Sunday afternoon) I got to talk to my bestfriend – Tuesday night. two days has passed!!!

I was so sorry that my best friend blames herself about the dress. I was furious. It was not the way I designed it to be! The draping was supposed to hug her thighs to show her curves, but there it was all the draping design placed on the waist. Maximum failure.

So a plan was hatched that we get her gown the very next day and get it altered by (Wednesday) afternoon. 

I was so shocked and sorry with what I saw that I went full on bridezilla mode and called Bonaobra Couture to demand that they fix that feaking skirt pronto. *maldita mode 100%* I told them I don’t care what they are going to do, if they were going to go with the original design or come up with something else I want it fixed!

They were forgiven for the wrong color on my sister’s gown – I will mark this ok because they owned up to their mistake and apologized profusely, and also for the flowergirls’ appliqués – That I ended up doing but I don’t blame them that much for that because maybe that was all that they could find given that its hard to match ready made appliques to fabric color.

But this was the third. With me, three strikes and hell breaks loose. You know me, I wont judge easily and always give a benefit of the doubt.  

*Funny thing was for every fitting of our entourage we pay them upfront so they would have any doubts about us. Most of the female entourage’s dresses was already claimed, save for three dresses –the two maid of honor gowns and my mother’s gown. We only have one more payment with them and we are all cleared.

We demanded that they fix my best friend’s skirt first before they get the final payment. That means they only have 1 day (Thursday) to fix the skirt. *by Friday afternoon we are all going to the hotel for the wedding on Saturday afternoon. This was a very tight schedule.*

Good thing that they were able to pull it off. I don’t know what would happen if they did not.

3 of 5So what is the verdict? I give them 3.

They owed up to their fault. Heard us out and acted on our complaints to try to make it a bit better. Its not perfect, sure. But in a way it did console us a bit. Their stitching looks clean even if it was re-altered. Despite all the trouble we encountered they managed to pull through and fixed the situation.

 


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high hopes & heartbreak in white

Warning-this is a long post. But it does have pictures.

*also you can click on the pictures to enlarge.

I am actually dreading writing this. Honestly, I have been keeping silent about my wedding dress as I am on the fence.

But then again how do I even start? Shoving all my personal feelings aside I am going to handle this review as objectively as I could muster. No influence by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased. God help me please.

I think I have may spent a quarter of my life dreaming about THE wedding dress. I may be shallow to some that I obsess about it a lot but to me, I have been dreaming of this for the longest time so sorry, I am not sorry!

To me it was going to be the most expensive dress I am going to own. So it better be something I really, really like.

Then again, reality bites. There is the budget to consider, the restrictions. (I wouldn’t want to wear something that would look a lot like my cousin’s dress-long story-she is another bride to be that would have her wedding the month after my wedding). Not exactly the best situation but we got to work around it. She will be having a ruffled skirt so, ruffles is out of the picture for me.  Sorry no more dramatic skirt for me.

that red box holds my wedding dress.

the red box that holds my wedding dress.

When I found and met Mel Orlina and booked her to be my wedding gown designer I was over the moon. See the post here.  I did all the usual stuff a bride to be does. I combed the internet for reviews about her and all of them are glowing reviews. So I am expecting all that I read to be the same experience I was going to have.  That’s what I thought back then.

Most of what I wrote on the past post is not really my sentiments anymore I am sad to say.  I may be the first to say this but even if the gown designer is talented, there is no replacement for a healthy client-designer relationship. Its about understanding what your client wants and hearing out their requests/ suggestions and ultimately the brainchild of both your ideas will be the finished product.

On the first few meetings it was all about the design. So we started the dress mid of the year June. My initial design was a mermaid gown with dramatic skirt and low back with colored petticoat.  –this did not happen, I had to change the design, for the reason above. No dramatic skirt for me. 

And design process went until August. By that time I already got three revisions. No more colored petticoat and no more dramatic skirt. What stayed the same was it is a mermaid gown and low back.

sketch my dreams

sketch my dreams ( you can click on the picture to enlarge)

Here is the second revision (left) and the final design (right). If you look closely you can see the first sketch was hidden by the second revision as she sketched over the initial drawing. All is well. I love what I see.

So here is me on the fitting of the lining. Look at the fit! yey!

left-pardon my "villain" face. middle-yep, Im pretty pleased face. right-the fit was perfect

left-pardon my “villain” face. middle-yep, Im pretty pleased face. right-the fit was near perfect

Lining fitting is the first fitting. The shape of the dress-to-be looks really good.

This is the second fitting. Mel personally pinned out all the embroidery detail on the dress. –you can see her in the middle photo. That is her wearing the orange dress. I am really happy with how it turned out. * she personally pinned my embroidery. 

all lines and no floral design, I want it timeless

all lines and no floral design, I want it to look modern but at the same time it has to be timeless.

Later on that week, the dress even made it to instagram.

not bad right? I had high hopes!

not bad right? I had high hopes!

Next time I went to her shop I was told that there would be beading on my dress. My issues started here-Third fitting.

I remember looking at my dress for the first time and asking Mel, “I thought there will be no pearls”. She assured me that those are opals as there is a note attached to the garment bag that stated no pearls. I took her word for it.

the first time I saw my dress with beads

the first time I saw my dress with beads. That would be Kei and Mel holding the dress as I just took a snap. I did not get to fit the dress that day-there were too many people  on the shop. I returned next week. 

Once home I went on to google the Swarovski opals and pearl beads. I have a hunch that those beads are not opals.  I attached the swarovski chart as well as my guess of what they attached. See for yourself.

just to make it clear

just to make it clear. (click on the picture to enlarge)

Those in my dress are Swarovski flatback pearl cabochons. Opal flatbacks have facets.

I felt deceived, but giving her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was all they had. And also another thought that says, no matter.  They should have told you first and be upfront if they cannot accommodate your request. Or maybe demand more payment to accommodate the request; or suggest replacements I mean come on, there are a lot of options!

But the beads are already glued and placed. I would really be a huge pain in the ass had I disapprove of it and get them to replace everything. *I really dislike pearls. sobs.

So I ended up consoling myself that those aren’t really “real” pearls, that I can live with it. So, I did. But I really felt bad that my request was not followed despite the fact that we agreed upon it previously.

And this was the third fitting.

here are the girls as they helped me fitting the dress.

here are the girls as they helped me fitting the dress.

Surely you have to give a closer look at the dress.

no more pins!

no more pins!

I am also feeling that my sleeves are kind of “off”. It falls out of place and moves about… They told me that there is a trick to it using tape. They let me try the dress and used tape to hold it in place. It looks and feels ok, but the slightest perspiration or sudden movement would make the tape useless.

spot the difference

spot the difference

On my fourth fitting, I was yet greeted with another problem. There is a crystal missing from my dress. I caught their attention and they said that it will be fixed. I also asked again about how do I keep the dress’s sleeves in place as they move around when I move and looks loose that is not really flattering to look at.

where have that sparkly gone?

squint my eyes… where have that sparkly gone?

I went back mid week to check on my dress. (I have a shoot that day near Makati so I went back to check and fit.)- I clearly recall the day was Dec 2, 2015 a wednesday. *I was worried as the wedding day is so near. 

the only time I went to fit the dress with make-up on. Kind of like playing dress up

the only time I went to fit the dress with make-up on (flowers are props from my shoot)

Again I asked about the missing crystal, as it was still missing.

where art thou?

where art thou?

It was instantly replaced by Mel replaced with a smaller crystal than the rest. (cringe) I was told that it would not be obvious. But the O.C. in me just screamed my head off.  See for yourself.

did you see it?

what is the difference?  did you see it? -Just a close up photo of the dress laid flat in its box.

I was shocked.What happened to quality?

That time I was stunned and at the same time a bit angry. I decided that I have to solve the falling sleeves issue. I will not risk it and will not be using tape, I wanted a permanent solution not some quick fix that would probably fail. I do not want to have to worry about my split straps moving on the day of the wedding. I asked that they offer me a solution.

And this is what Mel came up with.

is it only me or does it look like a bra strap?

is it only me or does it look like a bra strap?

I also pitched in my proposed solution. And these were the result.

make the off sleeve run to the back

make the off shoulder strap run to the back 

Admittedly, both options of looked awkward.

go ahead and choose

go ahead and choose

But, still I don’t want to revert back to the tape solution. So, I insisted on the thick band that was my proposed solution. I went home troubled.

Then proceeded to regret the morning after. Prompting me to email Mel and propose another solution.

Here is my email to her.

a desperate call for help

a desperate call for help-the next time I see my dress again will be the week of the wedding, I only have the last fitting left.

And my proposed “fix”.

this was exactly the photo I emailed to her

this is exactly the photo I emailed to her

And if you did read my email you can see that at that time, I wrote that I felt pressured to decide at once. I will have to clarify that one.

It’s true that Mel’s shop is packed every time I go there (I took it as a good sign, since there are a lot of clients); everyone has to wait for their turn, get assisted by the girls (shop assistants of Mel) and a real few minutes to talk with Mel. The last part is kind of a grey area. You see you can be talking to her while she is doing something else-at times talking to other brides, potential clients or assisting another bride. Basically, she is busy most of the time, you are very lucky if you got all her attention. Then again, I can only visit her shop on weekends since I can’t go there on weekdays as I have to work.  So, I really have to be patient and wait and also try and maximize my time in the shop. I also cannot blame her if everything is rushed, there are a lot of clients and only one of her so it’s but normal that she cannot really zone in to each and every problem/question/fitting. There are days that are ok, there are days that are frustrating and there is also those days that I come out of her shop almost close to crying.

I have also proven that my hunch was right. This is a photo from my last fitting.  Those were freaking pearls. – #pearl

#pearl

Instagram again! and I learned that is really is #pearl – no second guessing. This is proof that what I have on my gown is not opal but pearls. 

Just breathe deep and carry on. I had to remind myself that.

Then again, due to the nature of a gown designer’s work…it must be imperative that she be hands-on regarding each and every one of her brides’ needs right? After all you only get married once!

Fast forward to the day of the wedding, my dress looked good. A lot have been complimenting my dress.

the dress in action

the dress in action

For me, I liked that it made me look tall. I am also glad that on some pictures, it looks like soft flowing water.

like soft flowing water

like soft flowing water

There is also the embellishments that filled out the bodice.

beading

beading

I love my dress. I truly do.

I made it again to Mel orlina's instagram, only I was nameless there (I thinks). *All the other brides have names.

Photo taken on the day of the wedding. – oh wow! I made it again to Mel Orlina’s instagram.  I can’t help but notice that I was the only one nameless there . *All the other brides have their names posted along with their picture.

But there is this haunting feeling at the back of my mind that it could have been better, had issues and agreements have been prioritized and more focused communication. After all, you only get to be a bride once; feeling rushed and at times neglected definitely feels downright sad.

Summing it all up.

The dress was okay, they got the job done.  I regret the experience.

Mel is sorely lacking in service. It was only the girls in the shop that really made sure that the fittings are comfortable and assisted, thanks and kudos to each one of them. But even if the girls are helping out, it will not replace having the time you get to talk to your designer (about the dress) and your designer explaining the options possible. Having the peace of mind that your designer truly understands what you want. It’s the goal.

But because time was limited and there was also the way everything is rushed and busy at Mel’s shop.  It caused me bouts of doubt, anxiety/stress and sadness. That could have been avoided if there were at least a min of 30 mins for focused time for every client, as well as the simple “stick to the plan agreed upon”.

Still, I am thankful to them for making my dress. Not exactly what I wanted but that was it.

fairRating 2.5 out of 5. Barely made it.

Heartbreaking for someone who I had high hopes for. Do I recommend them? If you are Makati based and can really monitor your fittings/requests I’d say go check them out if you like them. If you are not from Makati, you better think about it.

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

“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”― Maya Angelou