Date night

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It’s date night for all you couples celebrating Valentine’s Day! Woohoo! Carlos and I kind of did an early celebration–we ate out yesterday with Tristan and his yaya (that’s still counted, right). I know, I know, that hardly counts as a date but anyway I’m glad I was able to get out of the house and wear heels and earrings (can’t remember the last time I wore both). At this point, I’ll take any sort of break or celebration haha.

This outfit was thankfully super comfortable (just how I like it) and I was extra happy because I was able to breastfeed with ease. The top is from a new favorite online store of mine called Anika (follow them on IG: @wear_anika), the grid print midi skirt is from Details, blush heels from Charles & Keith, and earrings from another online store: Bauble Tree (IG handle: @baubletree).

Happy Valentine’s Day!

YES to Marie France

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It is no big secret that I’ve been going to Marie France for a couple of weeks now. They have been helping me lose the baby weight without resorting to invasive or aggressive treatments (I basically just lie down and relax while the machines do all the work), which has made my life so much easier. No doubt, my body has changed since I gave birth. I gained 35-40 pounds from my pregnancy, which I was able to lose in the first few weeks. I was thrilled that I was shedding the pounds quickly, until I noticed after a month or two that I began gaining weight. Breastfeeding usually helps mommas lose the weight, but it was the opposite for me. I gained as I ate, because I was always so hungry. That, and the sleepless nights and having no yaya in the first few months made me eat even more. Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming breastfeeding (I am still breastfeeding Tristan at seven months and I plan to continue until he is a year old). This was just the effect it had on my metabolism, and yes, it was also my food choices because I could’ve eaten a little healthier. So, this is all on me.

It is still an ongoing process, because I am down to the last 10 pounds, which are the hardest to lose. And of course, these fats decide to reside in my problem areas, like my tummy and legs which are so difficult to target and burn with exercise alone. I understand that exercise is the best option, but I really do not have the time to do it regularly, though I have been jogging with Lily and attending yoga classes and they really help. But I have to say, I am really seeing results with my sessions with Marie France as I am really losing inches!

So I usually go through four machines during each session, and each one really help burn fat in target areas (hello arms, tummy and legs). I have to make it clear that these machines do not cause any pain or numbness, in fact, I am always so relaxed when I finish a session. My friends always ask me if it hurts when I go, and I always tell them not at all. It is like going for a massage, but you end up losing weight and inches.

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So I’ve written about Marie France before (you can read about it HERE), and I explained how one of their machines: Physique Inch-Loss works. Now, I want to introduce to you another machine that I love, and it’s called TRIPOLLAR TUMMY.

TriPollar Tummy uses the third generation Radio Frequency technology for body contouring. It works by selectively heating the fat cells in the deep and superficial adipose layers simultaneously. Heating the fat cells increases the natural metabolism and the release of fat for easy burning. It also promotes collagen production to tighten and firm up the skin. The result: the fat cells shrink in size, leaving the tummy tighter, flatter and smoother. I’ve lost inches in my tummy because of this machine, and it super works because my tummy has shrunk in size (even my back fat, which I super hated). Imagine after giving birth my waist line was 36 inches (I was just as shocked when I saw the measuring tape), and now I fit in size 26 jeans. That’s 10 inches!!!

What I love about TriPollar Tummy is that it smoothens, contours, tones and lifts. It helps trim jiggly flabs, shrinks a protruding paunch and tightens loose, wrinkling skin on the tummy area that most women get after giving birth. It’s the perfect solution for ladies who dream of having flatter, firmer waistlines or even for moms who want to smoothen and tighten their post-natal belly bulge.

The treatment takes approximately 30 minutes. It is so quick, you can have it during your lunch break. And there is no recovery period–there are no injections, incisions or anesthesia required (I would back out if it had any one of these). This selective fat-burning technique doesn’t damage any tissues or blood vessels either. You will only feel a mild heating sensation during the treatment. Think of it as a hot-stone massage but on your tummy! The focused energy of the TriPollar enables the use of low power for tissue heating, resulting in a safe and very pleasant treatment.

IMG_4884Of course, I wont show you my current weight haha. But I have 10 pounds to go, and I cannot wait to completely lose them!

IMG_4735Call 894-2639 (BODY) today for a free consultation! Marie France is the best!

Bao Bao Babies

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As you know, the Baby Barangay spent a weekend vacationing in beautiful Cebu (you can read about it HERE and HERE). I always say yes to these trips because it is my chance to indulge in amazing food (no doubt we had our fill during this trip). But little did I know, it would also be an opportunity to SHOP for the best baby and mommy things!

Once again we have Cat Juan-Ledesma to thank for introducing us to Shirly and Emily, the lovely owners of Bao Bao Babies (it’s pronounced as ‘pao pao’, which means precious or treasure in Mandarin), who closed the store for us that day and allowed us to shop to our hearts’ content. The mommies were ecstatic–we must’ve spent a good three hours at the store, discovering new brands and great local products. The store is a treasure trove of all things a mama (and baby) would need from pregnancy to toddlerhood. It is carefully curated, and according to the owners, they only sell things they would personally use, which means these are the absolute best.

Seriously, if you’re in Cebu, you have to visit this store! But if you wont be in Cebu any time soon, you can order some of their merchandise through their website: http://www.baobaobabies.com. They offer free nationwide shipping for orders above P1,500!

Scroll down to see some of things I loved at Bao Bao Babies.

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Bao Bao Babies is located at: 

Oakridge Business Park, A.S. Fortuna Street, Mandaue City, Cebu

 032.505.2590 / 0917.634.8889

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Business Hours:

Sunday-Saturday

11:00AM – 9:00PM

*

http://www.baobaobabies.com

Windward House

Yup, the Baby Barangay went on another adventure. This time we stayed at the lovely Windward House in Tali, Batangas! That’s five families  in one awesome house. If you can imagine the chaos, shouting and fun, well, multiply that by five and that was the kind of weekend we had. We all had the best time! The house was like our home away from home (more like the vacation house we all want), and this mommy group including their respective families were such great company.

This happy, supportive group is, of course, made up of Bianca Santiago-Reinoso, Patty Laurel-Filart, Cat Juan-Ledesma, Nicole Hernandez-de los Angeles and myself. These girls have been with me (via our What’s App chat group) from the beginning of my pregnancy, and have been my cheerleaders, listeners and advisers when it comes to mommy life and all things baby. I love that we are all pretty much in the same page in terms of childcare, and we basically share the same values and ideals. But I think the best thing about being a part of this group is that there is absolutely no judgment when it comes to your choices as a parent. No one is there to lecture or judge, we only listen and suggest. This is so important, because really, we try so hard to be the best moms and the last thing we need is another mom to put you down. Well, there is none of that here–this group keeps things positive, and is there for you when your world seems to be ripping at the seams (we all get mommy breakdowns once in awhile).

Now, we all have Nicole to thank for planning this fun trip, and of course, the owner of the house, Pam Begre who made our stay so wonderful. I couldn’t say ‘THANK YOU’ enough. It was such a happy weekend! Windward House is really the best option for young families who want a vacation without having to book a flight. Batangas is so ideal as it is only three-hours away by car, and if you want a change of scenery, Tali Beach is super near (just a two-minute drive from the house). The kids had a blast swimming and playing with each other, while the grown-ups ate, swam, got a tan and made kwentuhan. If you’re looking to do a quick get-away with your family and friends (seriously, you can bring everyone–there is so much room) then Windward House is for you.

For bookings, you can get in touch with Pam at windwardhouseph@gmail.com.

 

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Zippy Kidstore now in Manila

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Awesome news: the coolest place to shop for your little ones has just opened its first store in Glorietta, Makati. Of course, I am talking about Portuguese brand ZIPPY Kidstore!!! For a new mom like me, this is such happy news. Since Tristan was born, I have been addicted to finding the best baby brands, and I absolutely love it when I find a store I love.

Zippy has quickly made it to my list of favorite stores, as I immediately fell in love with their stylish and comfortable designs. Yes, moms know that comfort is A MUST when it comes to baby clothes. It has to fit well, allow your baby to move freely, and have the best fabric (I prefer cottony, breathable natural fibers) or else you will have a very unhappy baby.

I was invited to Zippy’s grand opening (along with other stylish moms like Patty Laurel-Filart and Cat Arambulo-Antonio) and I ended up going on a major shopping spree, not just for Tristan but all his cousins and friends as well! I mean, really, the brand carries such cool-looking clothing; Tristan always looks so dressed up and put-together when he is wearing his clothes from Zippy. The best part, he loves wearing them! There was never a time where I saw him tug or pull at his clothes–he is always snug as a bug in rug in his new clothes. Another thing I love about Zippy is that it isn’t pricey at all. For great quality baby clothes, their price points are actually affordable which only makes me love the brand even more.

Moms, this is such a cool baby and kid store. You seriously have to check it out.

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Zippy is available at over 40 countries around the world, and is the largest pure-play children’s specialist apparel retailer. It offers a complete range for the children world, from 0 to 14 years old, always with the best prices and value for money. I love how they have style choices for every kid out there–Zippy carries a full line of apparel, footwear, accessories and nursery products. It is clearly an urban brand characterized by a contemporary style, expressed through its functional design, so that kids feel cool and comfy, and parents are happy and proud.

 

No. 9 Restaurant Cebu

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The Baby Barangay has Cat Juan-Ledesma to thank for introducing us to this wonderful restaurant. In case you missed it, our happy chaotic group (composed of five couples, seven babies and six yayas) went on its first vacation and it was to sunny Cebu. We wanted to try something new so she suggested No. 9 Restaurant, which is owned and managed by her childhood friends Iñaki and Pepin Martinez. The restaurant serves their very own family recipes as well as new creations that are both delightful and creative.

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We were definitely in for a treat. We were served an amazing spread, with each dish more delicious than the last. That was truly the best lunch I’ve had in ages, and yes, I recommend that everyone try it when in Cebu. It is actually torture for me to write about this now because I am craving some of the dishes here. Their food taste as good as they look!

IMG_9072LENGUA ox tongue, mustard, brioche: This was a different kind of lengua from what I am used to, so this came as a surprise. It was a good surprise though because it was light and tasty. It was especially good served with mustard on the bread.

IMG_9066MENTA LIMONADA Minty Lemonade: This drink!!! It was so refreshing. I don’t usually like lemonade, but this one was just so yummy. I had about three.

IMG_9059PATATAS BRAVAS fried potatos, aioli and brava sauce: A great appetizer. I love potatoes and this was another flavorful way of serving it. Crunchy and savory.

IMG_9069ESCALIVADA 150 marinated grilled eggplant, peppers and tomatoes, slow-cooked egg: Runny eggs make everything better. Haha. Sorry, I am a fan of eggs, and this tasty dish did it for me. Smoky, tangy and flavorful with each bite.

IMG_9085CERDO charcoal grilled 12-hour pork belly, arugula, salsa verde: My favorite out of the lot is also a best-seller at No. 9. The pork was so soft and tender, it practically melts in your mouth. Paired with salsa verde, this was absolutely amazing.

IMG_9078FIDEO NEGRO broken noodles, squid, chorizo, squid ink, aioli: This was a hit with the Baby Barangay. This was so creamy and flavorful–a proof that chorizo and squid make a perfect match. Be warned that this isn’t exactly a first date dish (unless both of you have it). Everyone had black lips and teeth after trying this dish.

IMG_9088IMG_9097CORDERO AL HORNO roasted lamb shoulder: The star of the lunch. This was not yet on the menu when they served it to us (ask your server about it–it is an absolute must-try). This lamb shoulder was roasting the entire day which made it so tender and moist. The meat was tasty and delicious, especially when paired with salsa verde and apple salsa.

IMG_9109PIÑA Y COCO rum cake, pineapple, whipped coconut, cashew nuts: I could finish this entire dish on my own. The pineapple was extra sweet–paired with the rum cake, it made the perfect combo.  

IMG_9160CREMA CATALANA CON MANGO custard, burnt sugar, mango: Think of it as a mango version of creme brûlée. This was all kinds of wonderful.

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The Baby Barangay had an exceptional lunch, thank you No. 9!

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No. 9 is located at #9 E. Benedicto Street, Cebu

(032) 253 9518

http://www.no9restaurant.com

Baby Barangay at Movenpick Cebu

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What started as a What’s App chat room turned out to be the best support group any mom could ask for. I think I was on my third trimester when we created our little group, and since that time we’ve discussed pretty much everything a new mom goes through: how to prevent stretch marks, how to naturally induce labor, gentle birthing, going through caesarean section, breastfeeding, getting the best yayas, what to do when your baby is sick, traveling with baby, and the list goes on. Being a mom is hard (seriously, they should teach childcare in high school) and these past six months have been a testament to that, with each day offering new challenges and difficulties. Don’t get me wrong though, these have also been the most wonderful moments of my life. I know I sound like I am contradicting myself, but yes, raising a child is both beautiful and hard and amazing and life changing. Needless to say, these are the times in your life when you need friends who understand what you’re going through and who could give you great advice when you feel like everything is falling apart (it does feel like it on some days).

And so #BabyBarangay was formed.

Looking back, I had no clue this happy, crazy bunch would end up going on long trips together, complete with husbands, babies and yayas! We are definitely one BIG group, with five couples, seven babies and six yayas. If you can imagine how chaotic we were in the airport, try imagining us in one flight (to be fair to our babies, they each took turns crying so it wasn’t so bad). Our trips prove that chaos can be fun, with all of us packing our entire houses (if you can believe it, some of us brought our own bathtubs, nebulizers, coolers and sterilizers) and still wondering if we left anything else at home.

Our first trip ever was to Cebu. Movenpick Hotel in Mactan Island accommodated our huge group, allotting a room for each family and even the yayas. I still can’t wrap my head around how we were able to pull this off, but wow, we did it without a hitch. Our flights were on time, everyone was well-fed and happy, and we mommies were able to find the time to relax and unwind. It must’ve been our lucky weekend, or the company itself because we had the absolute best time (thank you, Meg of Movenpick for taking care of us).

IMG_8428So this was us at the airport. A big barangay full of babies and luggage (and of course, our photographer crops out Nicole’s family).

P1370623While waiting for our flight, we managed to grab a bite to eat.

P1370619Juano and Theo.

IMG_8458We needed two vans to fit everyone, including our unbelievable number of luggage.

IMG_8504For this view, packing was all worth it. Mactan Island is such a gem.

IMG_8483We all got our R&R at Movenpick. Spell J-A-C-U-Z-Z-I.

IMG_8478Fruits, refreshments and alcohol. Cant go wrong with that.

IMG_8507Yes, we each mom had a glass in her hand as soon as we arrived.

IMG_8494Alonzo and Liana wanting to taking a dip in the jacuzzi.

IMG_8475Yummy snacks before our lunch. Yes to dried mango all day when in Cebu!

IMG_8540We definitely love Movenpick!

IMG_8505In case you didn’t know, Movenpick is also known for its amazing ice-cream. This is flown in straight from Switzerland!

IMG_8502The kiddos couldn’t wait to explore the hotel.

IMG_8498The yayas are happy as well.

IMG_8465Juano fast asleep. This little cherub is so cute!

P1370844-001This is Movenpick Hotel’s lobby. I love the colors and architecture–it looks so happy!

P1370843These tanning beds look so inviting.

IMG_8550Our hotel room! This was our home for the weekend.

IMG_8567Tristan getting mesmerized by the furniture in our living room haha. Seriously, he was happy to be there!
IMG_8500Our gorgeous view from the room.

IMG_8584And our bathroom!

IMG_8725It was a bright and sunny day so we all changed to our swimsuits and headed for the beach.

IMG_8786So happy to be with these ladies. Yes, we were able to pull off this trip!

IMG_8826Me and my Tristan.

IMG_8765Baby congregation.

IMG_8772Tristan loving his Babiators!

IMG_8752The bigger kiddos made sandcastles.
IMG_8818Family photo!

IMG_8604Right across from the beach was the Ibiza Beach Club.

IMG_8731Besties Juano and Tristan.
IMG_8660Liana was unstoppable. She loves the beach, just like her mama.
IMG_8846So we tried to get all the babies together for a photo and this is what happened.
IMG_8792Gorgeous couple Cat and Carl. IMG_8864IMG_8866This gwapito Luisito with his blue Babiators.

IMG_8805Nicole and her family.

IMG_8918One thing we definitely enjoyed in Cebu was the FOOD! The Sails Restaurant at Movenpick offered a great variety of dishes for everyone.
IMG_8906Their pizzas were so yummy!

IMG_8936This was my favorite that evening: baked fish!

IMG_8937And of course, seafood paella.

IMG_8926We loved their excellent desserts.
IMG_8971Another day, another family adventure!
IMG_8952Our babies matched Movenpick’s color scheme.

IMG_9022IMG_9013Nara and her dad Carl.
IMG_8979Snug in their strollers. Tristan’s Quinny stroller is our favorite, you can purchase this at http://www.cudsly.com.
IMG_8992The Pats.

IMG_9035Alonzo doing his favorite Ninja Turtle moves.

IMG_8726We were blessed with another beautiful day.

IMG_9358So of course, we headed to the beach again.

IMG_9002Movenpick has powdery white sand, which the kids all enjoyed.

IMG_8612It was Tristan’s first time to feel sand on his toes.

IMG_9005We had such a happy time at the beach!

IMG_8904And just like that, it was nighttime! We checked out Ibiza Beach Club from our room and boy did it look pretty.
IMG_9316All the lights and music–you have to see this place if you haven’t yet.
IMG_9321Baby Barangay ready for our unbelievable 14-course churrasco dinner.

IMG_9325I think we were only on our fourth course when rib eye was served. Yum.

IMG_9334I couldn’t stop eating. I had to have my fill of the churrasco dinner. And yes, I finished the entire 14-course (thank God I’m still breast-feeding).

IMG_9348Last day to catch the sun! We obviously love the beach.
IMG_9347This happy chaotic crew is love!
IMG_9365This muffin was such a joy to be around. He is such a chill, happy baby.

IMG_9396And he loves the water!

IMG_9403We had such a ball with the kids.

IMG_9405Hoping for more trips to come!             IMG_9432My aunt and uncle who recently retired in Cebu visited us. So happy we were able to catch up.

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Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu is a five-star Mediterranean-inspired beachfront hotel in the Philippines located on a lush and tropical island, about 6 kilometers from the Mactan International Airport. The 245-room property offers a myriad of choices from accommodation, dining, wellness, leisure activities and venues for meetings and events. Aside from comfort and ambiance, this hip and happening hotel is likewise known as a destination for gourmands in search of a unique and memorable dining experience. Each of the four food and beverage outlets delight diners with its own selection of savoury and classic dishes, inspired by flavours from the East and West. A stunning architecture with spectacular ocean views, the Ibiza Beach Club is the hotel’s signature dining and entertainment space which offers authentic Balearic style Churrasco and Mediterranean tapas. Guests can wine and dine under the stars while watching exciting live performances of Latin, Brazilian, Broadway, Movie Musical, Pop and Retro themed dance numbers.

For enquiries or reservations, please call +63 32 799 1111, +63 32 492 777

or visit the website at www.movenpick.com/cebu.

Check mate

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I love easy, casual outfits like this. It was the perfect thing to wear for a day of sightseeing in Baguio. My family and I went on a trip during the holidays and we had so much fun. My husband and I haven’t been back here in years, so we were super excited especially since Tristan was with us. The entire outfit, except for my purse which is from Givenchy, is from Old Navy. I made a quick shopping trip to Old Navy before going up to Baguio and I was able to find everyone comfortable, stylish and warm clothing. Yay for Old Navy!

Century City Mall

If there’s one thing Metro Manila has an abundance of, it’s malls. And I’m not just talking about your regular, run-of-the-mill arcades, but really impressive shopping centers with plenty of retail choices, restaurants and entertainment to offer. Seriously, we love malls so much we spend practically our entire weekend here–I mean, we even go to mass at the mall! It is THE PLACE for family and friends to meet and spend quality time with each other. It is so much a part of our Pinoy culture, that even when we travel we look for the best malls to shop in.

I am all about shopping malls myself. I can’t go for a week without going to one (yes, I might be a little addicted). Like most of you, it is my happy place because I love to shop, eat and get entertained. One such mall I’ve recently come to love is Century City Mall in Makati. If you haven’t visited this mall, it’s high time you did because apart from being able to shop at your favorite stores, they also have a gorgeous cinema, amazing dining choices and unique and fun entertainment for family and friends. I did some of my Christmas shopping here last year, and I was so happy with my experience. I got to shop in peace–no stressful crowds, no security issues and no crazy parking problems. I mean, there were people, but it really didn’t feel like it was crowded. It felt festive and homey and not stressful at all!

So I wanted to share with you my fun shopping day, just so you can see what I am talking about. I spent the day here with my family and time flew! We had a blast doing our Christmas shopping (and buying a few things for ourselves) and eating. I really wanted to try out the Cinema here but Tristan was with us, so that will have to wait another time (my friends tell me it is really nice though). Scroll down to read about our happy day at Century City Mall.

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For lunch we got to try CaliBurger–it was so good! Their burger patties are out of control, and ack, I need to know what their secret sauce is. I’ve been craving for their burgers since I last tried it, which means I need to get my butt back there again soon. For all you meat/beef and burger lovers, you know where to go! Believe me, it is worth the trip.

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Then I got to visit a super chic baby store called Chibi Momo (it means mischievous peach in Japanese). It is owned by Jackie Cohen-Antonio, who personally sources cool baby brands from the USA, Europe and of course, the Philippines. This store is a gold mine of lovely things: you can find the cutest stuffed animals, hard-to-find baby books, gorgeous designer clothes, precious keepsakes and wooden toys here. I personally love their selection of books, because I read to Tristan every night.

Some of their brands include baby fragrances from Jacadi, organic toys from Apple Park, swaddling blankets from Aden + Anais, wooden toys from Maple Landmark, stuffed animals from Jellycat, backpacks from Beatrix NY and organic baby apparel from Pure Baby. These make the best gifts, if you’re not shopping for your own baby.

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And on to one of our favorite clothing stores: Uniqlo! Carlos and I love how affordable it is here are how everything is so well-made. Needless to say, we left the store with a few bags (okay, they were big shopping bags) for me, Carlos and Tristan. We also got gifts for my family!

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Since Carlos loves Oakley, we went in an did a little shopping. He ended up buying a pair of sunglasses, which he gets to wear for biking (an early Christmas present from me).

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After shopping we went to Hole In The Wall for merienda. I love the concept of this restaurant! It offers so many choices, it is like an upscale food court. I’ve tried most of the restaurants in here and so far all of them are good. Love this place!

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If you’re looking for a new concept mall that’s right in Makati, be sure to check out Century City Mall! Tip: They opened the first interactive play exhibit in the Philippines called Future Park. This is a must-see!

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Century City Mall is located at:
Century City, Kalayaan Ave. cor. Salamanca St.,, Brgy. Poblacion, Makati, 1210, Philippines
 

Debenhams Fab Finds

One thing I love about the holidays is that right after comes THE SALE SEASON! This is really the time to shop, because you get the best deals and not so much competition because everyone is still on a holi-daze. I always have the best time shopping around this time, which is why I do my Christmas shopping early (I start at around September), to make room for all the shopping I’ll be doing in January.

I dropped by one of my favorite stores the other day and found so many amazing deals. I am talking about Debenhams, of course, and I love that I was able to shop for my whole family (including new stuff for our home). Most of their items are now 50% off, and some have an additional 5% off after the first discount. This is so good–you get all these amazing pieces at such an affordable price. I picked out a Principles by Ben de Lisi jewel print tunic dress for myself (I’ve been eyeing this for a couple of weeks now), and a classic beige trench coat from The Collection (this one’s a keeper). My husband was able to find a nice navy sweater for himself, and for Tristan I got a 3-piece outfit (this includes a cotton t-shirt, a zip up jacket and jogger pants) that I can easily mix and match with his other clothes. Not only that, I got the cutest bedsheets! These are by The Collection, and has a bold stripe print that looks so good in our bedroom.

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I am seriously so happy with my fab finds, and couldn’t wait to use them. That’s why I had to share my “insider” info with you! Catch the awesome SALE at Debenhams from January 3 to 21, 2016 and enjoy up to 50% off on selected items. Debenhams stores are located at Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Rustan’s Makati, Trinoma, Estancia at Capitol Commons, and Abreeza mall in Davao. OH and scroll down to see more FAB FINDS!

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