life of a cuddlebit

my random ramblings


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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*

hdr

 

 

 

  • 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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Searching for the wedding gown: We found our gown designer

This is the continuation of  Searching for the wedding gown: Thoughts on the dress

We are scheduled at three o’clock. Says Kei who just got a reply from the designer.

Great, we can go eat lunch before meeting her. That was our plan.

So, lunch is served. We dined at Mitsuyado Sei-Men. Where we got our usual.

lunch

A large three cheese tsukemen, one order of gyoza, and black pepper chicken

Once done with lunch, we headed over to her shop. We arrived quite early. Excited much!  

look up!

look up!

It is located at the second floor of Dona Consolacion Building.

mel orlina building

Going up, we are greeted by this.

Mel Orlina shop

We arrived at her shop in a very busy time. There were a lot of brides to be along with their families who are in the process of fitting their gowns. The place was packed.  

We just spent the time looking at other people’s gowns, and also the trinkets displayed in her shop. Apparently they have a consignment deal with Jacatel.  So they carry accessories too!  Convenient! (I already have my eye one of the earrings!)

beautiful!

I find this beautiful!

One by one the people left and it was now our turn.

We get to see a tired but still smiling Mel Orlina. I told her what I wanted a mermaid gown with appliqués/beaded, with a dramatic skirt, low back, colored petticoat, then showed her my pegs. She then rummaged through her stash of fabrics and lace and brought out a bag of appliqués similar to my peg.

 

Then Mel sketched her vision of the gown keeping in mind my preferences. Then voiced out her reasons on why she designed the sketch that way. The sketch looked modern and feminine. I liked it!

This designer got Kei smiling at the sketch, schedule and price.

This designer got Kei smiling at the sketch, schedule and price.

She also guaranteed to us that should I have a change of heart on the design, she will be willing to change the design for me!

We also find her price reasonable. (below 100k)

 

I knew our search is over.

We instantly felt at ease. We liked her.

Kei booked her on the spot.

* I do a happy dance*

After we wrote down our names on her schedule, we found out that she is almost fully booked for 2015. Whoa, that fast?!

*Lucky for us!* 

See more of her creations here.

 

Mel Orlina Couture

Address: 2nd floor (unit 201), Dona Consolacion Bldg., 122 Jupiter St., Bel-Air Village, 1209 Makati

Phone: 7520312

Email: melorlinacouture@gmail.com

Office hours: Mon – Sat: 10:30 am – 7:30 pm

 

*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 this (from) his own pocket. 

**Start planning early. You get to pick the suppliers you like, rather than having to look for your second choice.

 


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Searching for the wedding gown: Thoughts on the dress

After all the RTW dress fittings, I am seriously overwhelmed and a bit disappointed that none of them felt like the one. I am not saying yes to the dress for reasons: too expensive, too plain, doesn’t feel like it is me….etc.

I kept all the pictures and showed them to my grandma (this is the grandma who loves pearls). Wearing her glasses, she looked at all the photos together with my most fashion forward Aunt. They smiled nervously as I told them that was all. My grandma said; dear, you must find something dramatic. Your Grandma wants to dress fabulously.

My Aunt said, the dresses you made us look at is rather plain. I am afraid; we don’t find it beautiful enough for the occasion. *I am the first grandchild to be married.*

By this time, my mind is spinning. They wanted a fabulous dress, but we have a budget! What will Kei say?

I also wanted my dress to be beautiful, and that it would be fit to my personality and feels like “me”.

Choosing your gown? here is a guide. Click on the image to enlarge. photo taken from pinterest.

Choosing your gown? here is a guide. (Click on the image to enlarge,  photo taken from pinterest.)

 

All I know is, I want a mermaid gown, appliquéd/beaded, in ivory, with a dramatic skirt and beautiful low back, plus a colored petticoat underneath.

One thing is for sure, I need to find pegs then, we need to find a designer. Most importantly, both of us must also agree on the design and designer.

And we need to book one fast! Because here in The Philippines, if you want the wedding industry’s best you have to act fast, as their slots are usually full a year before your wedding date.

I hurriedly called and set an appointment at my cousin’s wedding gown designer. (Their wedding took place 5 years ago.)  He is well known, and awarded as one of the best. On the said date, bringing Kei along with me, we went to his atelier. We got lost, and that got the designer mad at us. I think we may have encountered him in one of his bad mood days. He was stern and very quiet.

I showed him a sketch/peg I made, and he was actually amazed that I can draw. Then he proceeded to sketch what he thinks will flatter my figure. Kei and I liked his sketch very much. He still has slots for 2015 brides.

But the price nearly knocked us off our seats. He is asking for 200k. Only 1 wedding dress. This is not a package price. Apparently, designers’ prices can shoot up that much in a span of five years. Duh.

It was a NO. That amount of money is too much to just check off one item off the list.

Di sulit. (Fliipino term for: Not worth it.)

 

We need to look for another designer. A good one, without the outrageous price, that could make my dress.

That led us to looking at another designer whose facebook page is always updated with photos of her beaming clients/brides. Kei thought her works are nice, and I really googled about her price range. Seems reasonable than the first. We called her up and scheduled an appointment.

By that time, she was away on Singapore. We will see her once she comes back.

Again I brought out my pegs/sketches. She then rummaged through her stash of fabrics and lace and brought out a fabric similar to my peg. Then she sketched for me. Then voiced out her reasons on why she designed the sketch that way. We instantly felt at ease. We liked her.

She is almost fully booked for 2015. Whoa, that fast?!

Asked about the price, it is below 100k. Value for money.

We smiled. I think we found our gown designer.

 

 

*All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are our own and based on our own experience.

**Start planning early. You get to pick the suppliers you like, rather than having to look for your second choice.

 


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Filipino Fridays(2): kids and books

This Friday’s question from the Filipino Readercon:

What were your favorite books as a kid or while you were growing up? Do you still read children’s books? If you could give your younger self a book to read, what would it be?

 

I am blessed to have a lot of books as a kid. looking back, I might have had a little too much.

my favorite childhood books

my favorite childhood books/magazines

Let us start with my borrowed books. The Berenstain bears and Highlights were from the library. I get them on Fridays and enjoy them on the weekend. I would then share the Berenstain bears with my little sister, with me being the storyteller. The highlights magazines however, was very addicting to me! I kept borrowing it till the next issue arrives!  Till I got lucky and won our school library’s best reader of the month-year contest. (Best reader of the month gets a free highlights magazine! I have a copy every month. then by the end of the year a medal. *basically the student most number of read books is the winner.)

Then comes the quarterly goodie box from my Aunt who is living in the States. The box consists of a lot of candies (Jolly rancher, tootsie roll, hershey’s, m&ms) plus kool aid with my prized Archie comics. I get into a squabble with my cousins every time the goodie box arrives, I want dibs on the Archie comics. Sweet Valley kids to university series is a different story. I wait for my older cousins to finish reading it, then I get to read it and its mine. I really don’t like it that much, but hey, its free. I might as well get it.

Disney Adventures are my bonus. I usually get them when I help my mum do the grocery, she buys it for me as a reward for helping. I really love grocery shopping, and I do love Disney Adventures too. Hitting two birds with one stone. Awesome.

Lastly the Old master Q comics that I do not read (its in Chinese) but I just stare at the pictures. I get my hands on these when I visit the dentist (who lives downstairs), and lets me borrow the comics to be returned after I am finished with the book. *This is why I love going to the dentist!*

 

If I could give my little self books, I would shell out for Garfield comics and Peanuts comics and another subscription for Reader’s digest.

I dream of these

I dream to get more of these

Our school has a yearly-week-long  book fair, armed with my saved from allowance 50 php, (My recess allowance is 20php per day) I cant really buy much. But, I really want to buy all the Garfield and Peanuts comics they have!  So, being the little penny pinch-er that I am, I buy all my books on Monday. I could get 3 books.  I would then go read it  all as fast as I could and exchange it for another. ( ex. Garfield 1 in exchange for Garfield 2, repeat process till Friday. Whatever books i get on Friday stays with me.)  I also love getting my Dad’s copy of the Reader’s digest, and reading it first!  Which bugs my Dad, till my Uncle gave me my own subscription of Reader’s digest as a Christmas gift when I turned 10. That was a milestone for me. Receiving my own books in the mail with my name on it! Bliss! 

If I could give my little self books, I would mail myself a box full of comic books. (and probably the illustrated encyclopedia that I covet as a kid.)

 

I still read comic books. But rarely now. Although I do read Young Adult books once in a while.

Looking back, almost all of my books have colored pictures. I love looking at their illustrations.

One of my pastimes those days were re-creating the drawings found on the book to my little sketchpad. I also tried my hand on drawing/creating  my own books, made of folded pieces of letter paper, stapler and colored pencils. Those little hand made books were usually given to my Mum who is obligated to read/understand it. 

Maybe these books were the ones that are responsible for shaping me/inspiring me to be an artist.

Thank you Books. You were really good friends to me.