Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Nowhere Fast

Late bloomer ✏
Speeding through the meandering road of my early twenties life makes me wish I could slow down a bit. While my batchmates are making names for themselves in their respective industries, investing in properties, advancing in top management ranks, receiving hefty paychecks, getting hitched, here I am with a frozen post-collegiate employment feat. Not for long, I keep on convincing myself, what's 3 more semesters to fastrack a career I have been wanting to build and progress with in the future. 

I have long argued graduate school is slowing me down, but my genius of a father keeps on reminding me to look at it as one step back, two steps forward. It pains me to hold back from a lot of humanly indulgent things like shopping, dining and travelling to name a few (which I could possibly be enjoying  'til the heavens if I'm employed full time) but the expenses that come with attaining a post graduate degree is no joke and I'm just eternally grateful my parents are not pulling the plug on me yet. 

The demands of summer school is surprisingly intense. Being the lone Master of Science-pursue-r in class amidst a sea of students pursing a degree in Master of Management, I have consoled myself to exert extra HEAPS of effort so I can free myself off the dresses-and-high-heels-wearing-bimbo prejudice in class. By virtue of the UP grading system, 1.0 is the highest grade and I am beyond-the-rainbow thrilled my grades last semester didn't disappoint. While I still have a month of summer class to  endure, possibly a week of freedom to enjoy thereafter, I plan on conditioning my brain for a fully academically-loaded semester this coming June. 

And so the reclusive life begins. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Electric Dreams

The color orange - probably the most feared, intimidating shade in the color wheel. It's a hit or miss, either you're really into it or the slightest hint (?!?) can trigger your gag reflex. This dress came with a warning, it's not for the faint of heart! I wouldn't call it poster piece in a long list of Topshop Hall-of-fame-rs, in fact, capital W-T-Fs were beaming in my head when I first saw this dress. FLUORO, seriously Topshop?! Wait til you see this in actual, words of caution: it can be blinding.

My little trip down the dressing room was intended as a joke, just for the heck of trying out something. I can say I was at the peak of my unexpected weight gain that time, last year (and no, I wasn't pregnant) and this dress was probably dusted with slimming magic. So that did the trick. 
I never really got into the neon/fluoro trend, I'd like to keep my highlighters strictly for scholarly business only, thank you. It was the collective impact of the style, details and material that begged the dress to be bought. The irony of using orange to come up with such a classy piece is almost too intriguing.

You can never really go wrong with lace, no matter how scandalous the shade can be. In fact it's almost sacrilegious to use those words in one sentence, how can you not look classy and lady like in lace? In the end, the scallop hem won me over.
I was speeding on a nightrain bound for a wreck: overwhelming graduate school demands, pressure to lose weight, desperate attempt to fit my workout regime and 'wasting' away days by cutting significant calorie intake from my diet.. all in a day's work. With real life bound to choke me any time now, I knew I had to get away, FAST. I almost forgot the bliss that goes with family time and the opportunity to dress up.

I was so giddy on Easter Sunday I was barfing unicorns, rainbows, butterflies and glitters! Recall how I called this dress hit or miss? Well my entire family put this dress under the MISS part. Like that has stopped me before, right? I was feeling anxious the first time I wore it out and got a surprising number of compliments from strangers. Not even exaggerating. It just goes to show my family doesn't get it sometimes. chos!

WHO WORE IT BEST? Demi Lovato VS Ana Reynoso.  Bwahahaha!! As if
Who Wore it Best?
Demi Lovato VS Ana Reynoso in Topshop coral lace skater dress
I obviously spent more time reading Us Weekly than studying for geometry in High School.

Arabela has always been our family's Easter Feast destination. It's a small quaint coffee shop located in the vicinity of the iconic Liliw church. This is so worth taking the road trip, take my word for it!
High protein  Guess it's kosher..? Keeping Easter traditions alive at #Arabela #Liliw  Happy Easter Sunday
Allowed myself to indulge in a high protein, lean steak (relax, it's kosher).......only to cave in to their mouth-watering desserts. The true test of discipline came crumbling down...down.......down....
Strawberry cheesecake | Chocolate chip cheescake | Chocolate mousse | Blueberry cheesecake | SLICE OF HEAVEN ON A PLATE AKA Tiramisu 
HEAR THAT?! My stomach just exploded! It's highly impossible to order one dessert item off the menu ergo, two of those were for me. HAH! I shared naman the other plate ;) If you think cheesecakes are evil, wait 'til they serve it on heavy cream with chocolate syrup. Recipe for instant diet relapse, anyone?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

She's totally beachin'

 the works #summer #RipCurl #beach

The sweltering heat makes everything ten times more difficult, even dressing up. I always try to conceptualise an outfit around a particular theme and do what it takes to look the part. My taste is also well-defined, I will never settle for anything less than how I picture the entire outfit to look like. The key is to incorporate old pieces and trust me, your closet is a treasure trove of past season's junk that can be reconstructed. 

When it comes to beach dressing, the challenge is to bisect the points of comfort, style and functionality. Heavy fabrics should never see the light of day and so do bold colors, but says who, right? Perks of living in the 21st century, we get to exercise freedom! For my beach wear, I built the outfits around the swimsuits. 

Exhibit A: Saint Tropez street style. As much as I hate paisley (Per Elle Wood's mantra: Nobody looks good in paisley), this Princeton Slider Bikini from Roxy, has a hint of paisley at first glance. But if you examine closely, it's more hibiscus layered with another printed fabric. The contrast of teal against coral makes accessorizing easier and the collective effect of clashing prints swayed the entire look into a complete bohemian vibe. 

I threw on a plum colored lace kaftan as a makeshift swimsuit coverup. It served me well as an after-sun bathing dressy tunic that took me from the beach to brunch-ready. When travelling light, it's best to consider the functionality of every article of clothing if you want to maximize your baggage allowance. I opted for a more covered-up tunic (never mind the dense lace fabric) as opposed to lightweight sheers because I want something dressy enough to be paraded around even off-shore. It almost neutralized the busy prints I have on with the tribal printed Cotton On scarf, floral purse, bangles and rainbow flip flops. 

Exhibit B. Baywatch Betty. Say 'Baywatch' and bright reds and high cuts instantly come to mind. I chose this red bodycon tank dress to go over my geometric bandeau bikini from Roxy. The black and white geometric print looks great when it peeks through the exaggerated wide armholes. 
The straps are left hanging to prevent overlapping tan lines and to bring out the geometric print of the bandeau by accentuating it with a red necklace. 

Less than 10hrs after THE ultimate buffet attack!! 5 PLUS rounds of meat and seafood  not to mention,10pcs of turon and unlimited kakanin for dessert yup! Believe it  #sorrynotsorry #nofilter #Boracay #beach #summer #roxy

Of course I brought with me my cut out clothes AKA the clothes I-cannot-get-away-with-on-a-normal-day for my nightlife/party outfits. Give the night time sea breeze to cool you down for ten minutes before you come into terms with the actual night time humidity. I cannot express my desire to wear this top but doing so could be lethal as my parents would never approve of the little coverage this top offers. So after 9874692 years it finally made its debut in Boracay. HAHA. This beauty is rather tricky to style given its length and coverage; it almost slips as an exception to my ultimate rule in balance. 

Topshop zip back cut out top | Topshop pansy print scallop hem shorts 

I would normally resort to jeans, but skin is in. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The prodigal daughter returns

What I killed myself worked hard for three long, gruelling months was almost easily wiped out in just five days. Hi,Beach body, it was good while it lasted, but I can no longer hold my tongue for what it truly desires.  Quite frankly, the 52.4kg version of me is not working out physically, psychologically and even mentally. My mom was itching to shove an entire cake down my throat just to put the weight back up. Mom, by all means! :) 
I took my much needed break from my Monday-Saturday summer class schedule with the people I live for. Graduate School has been treating me well, except for the occasional stressors that come with attaining a Masters degree. Just you wait world, just you wait

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Paradise City

Take me down to the Paradise City
where the grass is green
and the girls are pretty

On April 5, my toes were able to finally kiss the white sandy shores of Boracay. For a while, I actually forgot about the altercation that took place the day prior. We are probably duped to go through extremely stressful situations so we can revel in the beauty of far better things in life. Check out our awesome-posum beach loft. I swoon! This right here is my country princess bed: 

It's a two-and-a-half-floor beachfront loft situated in Station 1. Isn't our balcony neat?! You get an unobstructed view of the ocean and good live music from across the walkway. It gets a bit noisy at night but Boracay is no less than a round the clock party hub. 

The morning following my deathly buffet attack, I embraced my inner recluse and took a morning stroll. My biological clock has been set to alarm at 6 almost every day (regardless of my bed time) and my 4 hour sleep coerced my feet to walk to the nearest Starbucks. Now you know I'm never a fan of expensive coffee but the place looks deserted on a Sunday morning. 

Paired my morning coffee with an Only-in-Boracay (or so they say) cheesecake with strawberry sauce which I can never tell from a regular strawberry cheesecake, really. It was my The Hills moment; breakfast by the beach; in messy bun, sunnies, swimsuit and beach cover up. The works. 

Take! Me! Home!
Take me down to the Paradise City

Monday, April 8, 2013

Road to #Sexy2013

K.O.  #boxing
Hate to come off as defensive, but I've been mentioning about SEXY2013 since December 10 last year, thankyouverymuch. I'm not calling dibs on the term since I just tweaked/ripped off Victoria's Secret SEXY2007 theme. 

Weight, or body image per se is such a HUUUUGE issue for women. Admit it, a you-gained-weight remark is enough to empty your self esteem tank. It's almost sacrilegious for anyone to comment on weight but part of our culture also means slipping an uncalled for weight gain remark on top of a conversation list. 

Relative to my 5'6'' frame, I am actually thankful for my average physique which I was able to effortlessly maintain until after college. Stressing 'effortless' on this one as I was a walking bottomless pit who ate whatever I wanted, whenever! And then life happened; I had to go to work and an 8-5 office is a huge weight buster. After one year in the office, my weight peaked at a staggering 60kgs (August 2012) *GASPS!!*. And that became my one-way ticket to bikini bootcamp. 

Being a poster kid for summer dressing, I knew I had to keep my weight in check if I plan on retaining my much-loved halters and skin-baring dresses. I have always been very self-conscious so losing weight was my only option. 

I have been practicing pilates for a decade now. In the first summer (2003), my weight dropped to 105lbs but right after school started, my weight normalised again. There's always been a conscious effort to lose weight either by a) exercising OR b) dieting, it's just one or the other. I was never the athletic type and my jogging attempts would only result to walkathons

Last December, my friends and I tried boxing right before the holidays. I hate having to shell out money for something that can be done on my own but I reckoned a trainer's supervision is exactly what I needed to keep my lean machine going. On the first month, I was able to successfully give up rice and switch to oats and whole grain cereals instead. I kept my work out regimen to 1.5hrs, 6 days a week and kept experimenting in the kitchen find out which diet would suit me best. I barely lost weight. 

On the second month, I managed to gradually give up sweets (with occasional indulgence, of course), increase my vegetable intake and take calorie counting seriously. Although I already lost a significant amount of weight, my stomach area was still a major problem. Hence, on the third month, sugar and salt.. well, gotta go! Food tasted blander and blander as I went from skinny to skinnier but I was happy with the progress on my mid section. 
Day 0. Late night #pilates + cardio to kick start my imbento 40 day challenge  Finally working out after nearly 6 days of leading a sedentary lifestyle FINAL 40 DAYS! Do or die  PS. Excuse the kulubot right hand, whats up with thaaat!
That is how I looked like 40 days before hitting the beach. Since I started working out religiously last January, I was able to lose 6+ kgs in 90 days :) Keeping a strict diet and working out religiously should go hand in hand. A misconception I would like to point out: abdominal exercises alone cannot result to a leaner, meaner and tighter midsection. Do cardio and give up sweets and anything salty!! Trust me. 

Trouble in Paradise

I would like to start my series of beach excursion posts with the highest of hurdles: the pains of budget airlines. Before you go all Mariah Carey on me, here's the 411: I'm 23, I'm the eldest of 4 kids and I know travelling is a luxury (especially for a family of 6). My parents are very conservative when it comes to travel options, justifying how much they want to make every family trip memorable by providing us with an impeccable travel experience. And that all starts with airline selection, we always ALWAYS fly PAL. I have to admit though, I sorta envy people scrambling for seat sales, but i can never really convince my parents to fly budget. So it's always a toss between PAL or no travel at all. And no, you still can't call me a snotty bitch, I'm trying to prove a point here.

You always get what you pay for. For a full price commercial plane ticket, you get the perks - impeccable customer service, inflight catered meal, entertainment, and based from experience, you are really valued as a customer. Of the all domestic and international roundtrip travels I have been a part of, only two of those fall under the 'budget airline' category. (Bangkok and Boracay)

Because PAL has spoiled me with great service since I was 8 (and counting the many business travels from when I was working) the extremely maarte person inside me is screaming 'culture shock'. Okay okay, you can call me a bitch now.

For Php 1,700++ I was able to pay for a roundtrip ticket to Kalibo (via Tiger Airways), and so did 4 of my girlfriends! Never mind the inconvenient entry point and flight schedule, it's Php 1,700 for crying out loud! BOOKED. On April 4 my girls and I were beaming with excitement as we lined up in front of the check-in counter inside the ever famous NAIA Terminal 4 (Oh, wait, there IS a Terminal 4? Never heard). What started out as silly jokes actually turned into reality -- our plane took off hours ago. Just imagine the set of airline USA only the antagonists were extra gorj. Chos!

I'd like to spare you from the gory details of our horrific encounter with Tiger Airways/SEA Air so I'm cutting the story here to save space (and to save face). Haha!

Now tell me, can Php 1,700 pay for time wasted, potential memories, tension and frustration? Think again.

I try to avoid subjective, sensitive, slightly controversial issues as much as I can but this deserves a spot on the hall of shame for singlehandedly making my temper reach the heavens (or should I say, hell?) :) uggh. NEVER. AGAIN. iabsolutelyhatebudgetairlines

Monday, April 1, 2013

Destination: Vacation

Destination: Vacation  So many things to pack, so little baggage allowance  3 more days! It's gonna be a totally beachin' weekend  ...until then, aral muna  #beach #roxy

Careful planning goes behind almost everything I do that involves clothing (or lack thereof). Choosing beach clothes proved to be a challenge since I have not set foot in a beach for three years now (shame, I know). With all the academic surges inside my brain, I barely have time left to plan an entire 4-day beach wardrobe. 

Anything boho, aztec and 50s pin up are going straight to my duffel!