Marc Coblen

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I think watches are great investment pieces. They’re essential, because you wear them everyday and they last a very long time if you take good care of them. Of course, I am far from being an avid watch collector. My collection is more stylish than timeless, and they are definitely far from being family heirlooms. I do however, appreciate watches that are both stylish and well-made, and okay, it does help when they’re not overtly expensive (after all, we still have bills to pay at the end of the day).

One such watch is MARC COBLEN, which I have to admit is a fairly new brand, but it has all the makings of a great stylish timepiece. Named after the Cobelen family that introduced TW Steel watches to the world, Marc Coblen watches are just as precise and beautifully crafted. Designed by horlogerist Jordy Cobelen, Marc Coblen watches are meant to show your personal style as it allows combinations of colors, textures and materials from its array of base watch models, watch straps and bezels. This gives you the freedom to personalise your own stylish timepiece through a simple Select-and-Change process.

STEP ONE: Select form the 30 base models available in 3 sizes: 42mm, 45mm, 50mm with chronograph in 3-hand movements encased in classic steel, trendy rose gold plating and hard-wearing black coating.

STEP TWO: Choose a watch strap from its array of colors, textures and materials. The selection of leather in different textures (they have a pretty crocodile print, for example), and comfortable silicone rubber materials that come in 10 styles. The straps can be interchanged effortlessly through the timepiece’s slide-and-click system.

STEP THREE: Replace the watch’s bezel. With a simple twist, the bezel comes off and can easily be replaced with another, from the selection of 10 different colors, some of which are embellished with Swarovski crystals and made from hard-wearing hammered and ceramic bezels in elegant black and white colors.

Now, how did I get to know all this? Well, the awesome people at Marc Coblen invited me and a couple other bloggers to try out this incredible Select-and-Change process. We tried it out for ourselves and saw just how easy it is to style your Marc Coblen watch to suit any personality or occasion. Check out these photos from the event.

IMG_0820Marc Coblen watches on display. I love how each one looks so different but are essentially the same watch.

IMG_0818These oversized, white-face Marc Coblens are just so pretty.

img_0825At the event were bloggers Lissa Kahayon and Nicole Andersson. And how funny, our outfit are color-coordinated!

IMG_0843Here come the exciting part: picking out our Marc Coblen watches.

IMG_0839 These black-face ones are so pretty, especially with its rose gold encasing.

IMG_0828This white-one is also a keeper. It looks so clean and classic.

IMG_0842 The classic steel encasing would better suit a guy, I think. Haha obviously I am partial to rose gold!

IMG_0849The many watch straps to choose from. They have a strap in every color that also matches the color of your casing.

IMG_0850More straps, in this pretty croc print.

IMG_0853For more casual occasions, there are these silicone straps as well.

IMG_0862And for the bezel, there are these Swarovski-embellished ones for the 42mm watch.

IMG_0860And for the 45 and 50mm, there are these colourful ones.

IMG_0880This is the one I chose–a black face 42mm chronograph in rose gold encasing. For my strap I got this dark green leather crocodile print.

img_0888Showing off my new Marc Coblen watch–this really suits my personality.

IMG_0872And for dressy occasions, I chose this Swarovski-embellished bezel, also in rose gold.

img_0846Modeling our Marc Coblen watches.

img_0848  The lady bloggers: Angela Nepomuceno, Lissa Kahayon, Nicole Andersson and myself.

            img_0900We love our Marc Coblen watches: Angela, Verniece, David, Lissa, Nicole and me.

 

Marc Coblen watches are brought to the Philippines by Swiss Prestige Inc. and are available at SM Southmall, Century City Mall, and selected Chronos, Swissgear and Wristpod stores. 

Spring Fling

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It all started with a text. Patty had this idea of organizing a summer soiree for our blogs where we can invite our close friends and sponsors and give away our favorite things, just how Oprah or Ellen does it. How could I say no to Patty?!! It sounded like A LOT OF FUN. I mean, what was there to think about? It was an intimate gathering with our girlfriends, and our main purpose was to make our blogs to come to life. Like if our blog posts weren’t a static thing on a screen, what would it look like? The answer: SPRING FLING! It was pure genius, and I was definitely in! Also in was Patty’s longtime BFF, talented artist Alessa. So our three blogs: lifeafterbreakfast.com, pattylaurel.com and kellymisa.com organized this fun, girly event where we could be ourselves and talk about things we love. For Alessa, its arts and crafts, creating beautiful things and decorating; for Patty, its talking about food and travel and a bit of fashion; and for me, its all about fashion and beauty. But more than anything you have to understand that Spring Fling was created as a platform to push for positive blogging. Its a happy event by happy people to push for happiness! Also we wanted our guests to feel super special and kind of go crazy (Oprah/Ellen crazy haha)–and we are happy to announce that we were able to do just that!

Now, I have to admit, I was a little intimidated by this event. Patty has been blogging since 2005 and has thousands of loyal readers and so does Alessa who has been blogging since 2011. Also their blogs are pretty amazing, when I scroll down their blogs (and that’s often) I am seriously proud to be their friends. They have such wonderful personalities and are so talented, you just want to keep on reading what they have to say. I, on the other hand, started my blog a little late (2012) and I admit I am still “finding myself” through my blog. Haha it sounds so cliche, I know–finding myself! But I guess since this initially started as a beauty blog which turned into a lifestyle blog, and finally a personal lifestyle blog, I don’t really see where this is going. But hey, that’s life I guess. In a way I blog about the things I love! And so let me just clarify that the feeling of intimidation lasted for less than a minute, because Patty and Alessa are really the nicest, most welcoming, most generous people you’ll ever meet. And so I got over it almost IMMEDIATELY haha.

Of course, to make this event a success (which I am happy and proud to say, IT WAS), we needed the help of our good friends. First of all, we wouldn’t have been able to put up this event without the help of SUPER EVENTS PLANNER Marge Montemayor. She was seriously the glue that held everything together. Her efficiency, quick action and O.C.ness brought the event to life and we can all agree, she did an amazing job! Early Bird Breakfast Club also played a huge part in this, because their food is just so good and their restaurant so pretty, we didn’t need to decorate! Thank you, Early Bird for closing the restaurant for us on a Saturday and serving us a five-course lunch, with appetizers, drinks and tea (complete with yummy pastries). We love your restaurant (its at Century City Mall in Makati, in case you were wondering)! Photography on that day was by Chris Clemente, and having her was a big help! We were so preoccupied with getting the event running in tiptop shape we seriously didn’t have time to take photos or even Instagram. Thanks Clems, for helping us out! To our wonderful SPONSORS who believed in the event from the start–thank you so much for being a part of Spring Fling! You’ll be happy to know that everyone loved the things you gave them (us especially) and the grand prizes were SUPER! Everyone got excited about them, and of course, the winners loved their prizes! And lastly, to our lovely guests who didn’t really understand what Spring Fling was about but still came to support us, THANK YOU!!! We are happy that you were part of the first ever Spring Fling! Hope to see you all in the next one!

I know, I know. I could already read your minds. You guys, my readers, should be in the next Spring Fling! Patty, Alessa and I are working on this. We seriously want you all to be part of this happy event, as a way to thank you for your continuous support. I will be announcing something at the end of this post so keep scrolling. This is a pretty long blog post!

DSC_0367The three blogs behind Spring Fling: kellymisa.com, pattylaurel.com and lifeafterbreakfast.com.

DSC_0144Our logos on the window, to make it all official hehehe.

IMG_9164We even created our own hashtag!

DSC_0112I arrived a little early to fix my “presentation”–the best of GUESS Spring-Summer 2014.

DSC_0197Our lovely guests have arrived!

DSC_0127Rica brought her adorable newborn Philip and her husband. And with her are Early Bird Breakfast Club owners Ellen and her hubby.

DSC_0246Pretty girls all around. That’s Marge on the far left btw!

DSC_0175Sam and Nikki.

DSC_0177Patty and Stef.

DSC_0168Happy, pretty women (and kiddos).

DSC_0249Full support from these ladies. So happy they came.

IMG_0971Thrilled these girls made it!

DSC_0314The yummy menu made just for us! Note: these are ALL Patty’s favorite dishes from Early Bird!

IMG_1006Ellen and her husband.

DSC_0414Early Bird Breakfast Club’s incredible chefs.

IMG_9244Spring Fling 2014!

DSC_0253We start the event by explaining what Spring Fling is all about.

DSC_0327Patty welcomes everyone to http://www.pattylaurel.com, and talks about her love for food and travel.

DSC_0310She invites Ellen to talk about Early Bird Breakfast Club and their best-selling dishes.

IMG_9214Bacon Jam & Breakfast Pate. Their own bacon jam specially made for bacon lovers! Their breakfast pate is deliciously made with chicken, sausage and mushrooms! A duo of dips will get you hooked!

IMG_0966Ultimate Grilled Cheese with Roasted Tomato Soup. Cheddar, mozzarella and Gruyere between slices of toasted bread with sweet and spicy onion relish served with roasted tomato soup on the side.

IMG_0978Poached Salmon Aioli. Light poached salmon fillet on crispy wholegrain toast topped with a poached egg and served with garlic aioli.

IMG_1012Yin and Yang Champorado. Rich Belgian dark chocolate and Belgian white chocolate Champorado served with sweet toasted dilis on the side.

IMG_1008Nutella Banana French Toasties. A trio of mini french toasts with Nutella, banana and a hint of orange. A must try for Nutella lovers!

IMG_0962French Toast Fondue. Served with cinnamon sugar, maple syrup and melted chocolate. (This is my favorite!!!)

DSC_0389Then, it was my turn to explain what kellymisa.com is about.

IMG_0988I showed our guests my favorite pieces from GUESS. And surprise, surprise!!! After my little talk I gave everyone summer survival kits from GUESS! Thank you, GUESS!!! 

DSC_0403Since I also write a lot about beauty on my blog, we invited Happy Skin’s Rissa Trillo to the event. She gave us the lowdown on their best products, and of course, gave everyone their own personalized kits from Happy Skin! Thank you, Happy Skin!!! 

DSC_0354Patty and I taking a quick break/bite to eat between our segments.

DSC_0484On to Alessa’s blog: lifeafterbreakfast.com! She gave a mini craft workshop in Brush Calligraphy. Everyone was excited to join!

IMG_1022DSC_0461IMG_1020DSC_0469DSC_0477DSC_0473IMG_1046DSC_0605It was so nice to see Cat at the event. Her blog is amazing too–go visit it: http://www.catjuan.com.

DSC_0178Alessa and her Sharpies! She gave 3 rolls of these away as prizes. Thank you, Sharpie!!!

IMG_1055The girls obviously loved their Sharpies as well!

IMG_1064Some of the calligraphy art by the guests. Alessa awarded 3 of the best works with that roll of Sharpie you saw earlier.

IMG_1000Patty talks about the ultimate beach accessory–sand-repelling beach blanket: Lagu. Thank you, Lagu!!! 

DSC_0444Yes, everyone got one!

IMG_9283These pretty canvas and leather bags from Joan & Klaire were a hit. Thank you, Joan & Klaire!!!

DSC_0668And everyone also got these pretty kimonos / coverups from La Tercera! Thank you, La Tercera!!!

DSC_0651Not to forget my favorite cupcakes in the whole world: My Little Buttercup! Everyone took home these Spring Fling themed ones! Yummy! Thank you, My Little Buttercup!!!

DSC_0655Also yummy vegan treats from Pipino! Everyone got Taro Chips with Puttanesca and Pesto dips. Thank you, Pipino!!!

IMG_8361That’s not all, we each took home our own Lulu Swing sandals. Haha at this point everyone was soooo happy. Thank you, Lulu Swing!!! 

IMG_8347The ladies different styles each in their sizes, of course!

IMG_8356Lulu Swing!

IMG_8342Cat was happy to get this stylish pair.

IMG_9487Next, Alessa announced three of the best calligraphy art from her crafternoon. They each won a roll of Sharpies!!!

DSC_0633So, okay, if you think that was it, well, you better think again. We gave away the BIG PRIZES after!

DSC_0687Rica won this super coffee machine from Caffe Cagliari!!!  Thank you, Caffe Cagliari!!!

DSC_0643And for the grand prize, we gave away a photo printer from Canon! Thank you, Canon!!!

DSC_0686Cat took home this baby! Check it out–it prints, copies and scans! Winner!

DSC_0683Our grand prize winners! We also gave away a t-shirt, a gold charm bracelet and a pair of nude strappy heels, all from GUESS!

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Is your head spinning yet?! We are so lucky to have such wonderful, generous sponsors! Thank you again for being part of Spring Fling! And in case you missed it, here’s what everyone took home.

DSC_0576TRESemme Keratin Smooth Shampoo & Conditioner, TRESemme Travel Size Salon Finish Hairspray and Pond’s Age Miracle BB+ Cream. Thank you, TRESemme and Pond’s!!!

DSC_0097Happy Skin makeup kit with foundation, blusher, eyeliner and lippie!

DSC_0033Joan & Klaire travel bag.

IMG_8321Lulu Swing sandals.

DSC_0054La Tercera beach coverup.

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Sunnies from Icon Eyewear. Thank you, Icon Eyewear!!!

DSC_0339L’Indochine mini travel/makeup bag (they’re inside the paper bags). Thank you, L’Indochine!!! 

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Pretty clip-ins from Goody–these are perfect for the beach! Everyone got one! Thank you, Goody!!!

IMG_1005Notebook from Early Bird Breakfast Club.

IMG_0238Spring Fling cupcakes from My Little Buttercup.

                 DSC_0581Notebook from Enlivo. Thank you, Enlivo!!!

DSC_0596Colorful markers from Sharpie, pencil from Mongol. Thank you, Mongol!!!

IMG_1018Photo printouts from the event by Canon.

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Two months unlimited yoga/pilates at One Life Studio. Thank you, One Life Studio!!!

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And now–THE EXCITING PART (I’m sorry you had to scroll all the way down to read this)! I will be giving away ALL THESE AMAZING THINGS to one (1) lucky reader!!! Yes, everything our Spring Fling guests took home, EVERYTHING except the food and grand prizes, of course! Here’s what you have to do:

(1) SHARE this blog post on your Twitter and/or Facebook.

(2) LEAVE A COMMENT and share your interesting idea on how to make the next Spring Fling even better than it was this year. Be creative, but make sure its do-able!

The best answer wins all this loot! (Again, except the food.)

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The winner will be announced on April 28, 2014 (Monday)!

GOOD LUCK!!!

Caffe Cagliari

Thank you, Caffe Cagliari for giving me this amazing Capsule Coffee Machine! I love that I can now have the best coffee right here at home. This is perfect for entertaining guests, and for nights when I have to be up to work on my deadlines. This will definitely be put to good use! Ahhhh, I love this!

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Online shopping made easy with Western Union

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My wish list: (1) Wilbur & Gussie Edith crystal-embellished bee print satin clutch £110 (from £220) at TheOutnet.com, (2) Threshold Starburst Mirror Set – 3 pieces $24.99 at Target.com, (3) Nate Berkus Frame with Brass Detail (4 x 6) $12.99 at Target.com, (4) Pierre Hardy Printed calf hair and suede pumps $259.75 at TheOutnet.com, (5) Nate Berkus Aluminum Enameled Decorative Box Black/White (8.6 x 5.6) $24.99 at Target.com, (6) Brian Atwood Dolores two-tone leather sandals £267 (from £666) at TheOutnet.com, (7) Nate Berkus Gold Mirrored Decorative Tray $34.99 at Target.com, (8) Matthew Williamson Embroidered jacquard and suede clutch £605 (from £1513) at TheOutnet.com.

It’s sale season in the States (the 4th of July sale is coming up), which means ill be spending a lot of time on my computer, online shopping! Yes, this is my guilty pleasure, only because it is so much cheaper to buy things like shoes, bags, clothes, and even beddings, towels, appliances and books, especially when they’re on clearance. Like most of you, I have relatives in the States who can receive my orders and lovingly send back my things in a box. And when that box gets delivered, it feels like Christmas all over again haha. I even love the smell of the box when I first open it–it smells like the States hahaha.

I am sure most of you can relate! It is so easy and convenient nowadays, it is no longer about having to make pabili to someone who’s going to travel and having to beg them to bring your items home even though it will cause their luggage to be overweight hahaha. Now you can just order things online and have it delivered to family or friends who already live abroad. My best friend when it comes to these things is Western Union, as I can easily remit money to pay for some of my pabili (if its not available online I ask family/friends to purchase the items from the store–usually these are food items or toiletries) and of course, the shipping service!

Sending money any other way can be such a headache to deal with–sometimes my relatives/friends don’t receive the money, there is a huge deduction (which means I’ll need to send more money), or there is a delay. Of course, I used to go through banks when sending money and I found out there are big disadvantages compared to going through Western Union (which I only recently started using–hay, I should’ve known about this years ago). For instance, banks take A LONG TIME. Your money goes through after 2-4 banking days, which can be more than a week if you count the weekend. If you need to get the money to that person immediately, Western Union can do it. They claim the money is sent in MINUTES (beat that)!!! Accessibility is another thing: banks are open only on weekdays, from Monday to Friday from 9am to around 4pm. Once the bank is closed, that’s it. Banks are also dependent on its network of banks and partners in host countries, and sometimes the transaction may not even go through. Western Union is open 7 days a week, with extensive networks worldwide! And lastly, Western Union is just so much easier to use. You only need to provide 1 valid ID to make a transaction, and it doesn’t require a US bank account or any other document/s. Banks require several documents to get the money transfer processed, and you’ll probably need to open a bank account to send the money through. Really, you can’t beat the service of Western Union–its fast, easy, hassle-free and super reliable. It just makes online shopping so much more FUN!!!

If you’re a newbie user, here’s how it works:

1.) Complete the ‘To Send Money’ form. Fill out the appropriate ‘To Send Money’ form provided and present to the Agent the original copy of your valid photo identification. You can call the Philippines Customer Hotline at 02 888-1200 (for calls within Metro Manila) or 1-800-1-888-1200 (toll-free nationwide via PLDT Lines), 1-800-9-888-1200 (toll-free nationwide via Globe Lines) or +632 888-1200 (for calls from overseas) for more information.
 If you have a Western Union® Gold Card issued in the Philippines, please present the card along with your valid photo identification or other supporting documents to the Agent.

2.) Pay for your money transfer. Give the Agent the amount of money that you (the Sender) want to send together with the necessary service fees.

3.) Sign and receive your receipt. You will be required to sign a receipt after you have verified that all the details printed on the receipt are correct.  One of the details printed on the receipt is your Money Transfer Control Number (MTCN). The MTCN is important and must only be disclosed to your intended recipient.

4.) Inform your receiver. It is time to contact the intended Receiver (or beneficiary) of your money, and relay the necessary information to him/her, such as the MTCN, your complete name (as signed in the ‘To Send Money’ form), amount sent, and the country the money was sent from.

5.) Track your money. Go to the ‘Transfer Status’ link that’s on the homepage of their website. You can then track the status of your money by typing in your name (as signed in the ‘To Send Money’ form) and MTCN.
 Check the status of your money transfer. 
You can also call the Philippines Customer Hotline at 02 888-1200 (for calls within Metro Manila) or 1-800-1-888-1200 (toll-free nationwide via PLDT Lines), 1-800-9-888-1200 (toll-free nationwide via Globe Lines), to check the status of your money transfer.

 

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Neon floral

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Photos by Dave Villaflor of Vipe Studios

Consider this part of my Batanes travel diary! I couldn’t resist taking outfit shots while the Trending Now team was resting. The view was just picture-perfect! For this outfit, I wore this black tank top from GUESS Jeans (I also wore this in my last post–this top is so versatile), denim shorts from Cotton On, floral coverup from Brown Belly (available at http://www.pormada.com), sandals from TOMS, rose gold watch from Marc Coblen and sunnies also from TOMS.

Trending Now: Batanes – Days 2 & 3

And my Batanes adventure / photo diary continues! This is days two and three and yes, I was freezing my butt off in most of these photos. We weren’t able to shoot much at Rakuh-A-Payaman (better known as Marlboro Country) on day one, so we went back the next day. Thankfully, it was sunny that day, which made it a little easier to bear the cold.

img_2012This “dress” got a lot of compliments on Instagram. Just to let you know, this isn’t actually a dress, but a top and skirt. It looks so good together! The tank top is from GUESS Jeans, and the printed skirt is from Cocotini (available soon on http://www.pormada.com), leather sandals are from Dolce Vita (available at SM Shoe Department), and the rose gold watch is from Marc Coblen.

IMG_2055
Next stop: Basco Lighthouse in Naidi Hills. This offered an amazing sunset view!

IMG_9137Love this!

IMG_2060Very near the Basco Lighthouse is Bunker’s Cafe Restaurant. This was an American bunker during World War II, and now it is a restaurant that serves Ivatan and Tagalog cuisine.

IMG_2069We arrived here early so I could do my spiels. The restaurant was still closed (it opens at around 5pm) but I couldn’t resist posing against these pretty blue shutters.

IMG_2117Another must-see destination in Batanes: Nakaboang Beach, Ark and Cave. This is located at Sabtang Island, a 30-minute boat ride away from the city proper.

IMG_2141This made a great backdrop for my spiels.

IMG_2205Taken in between shoots. Apparently, this ark is a good place to hide from the sun.

IMG_2253The best way to travel around Batanes: riding a bicycle!

IMG_2267This was so fun. Its a great way to see the sights and get a workout.

IMG_2228This is in Basco, very near Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge, one of the best places to stay when in Batanes.

IMG_2243Beautiful Batanes.

IMG_2239You can’t beat this view.

IMG_2285You can’t miss this: Valugan Boulder Beach! This beach is just so picturesque!

IMG_2295Three happy kids playing on the beach.

IMG_2332They are so happy!

Thank you for this wonderful trip, Batanes.

Trending Now airs every Sunday at 9pm on ANC. 

Trending Now: Batanes – Day 1

Batanes is truly a breathtaking place. With its rolling hills, steep cliffs and boulder-lined shores, it was like waking up to a dream or a different country. I had to constantly remind myself we were still in the Philippines. The whole experience was just unreal. It was so picturesque and quaint! Most houses are made of stone and are centuries old, yet they are well-maintained and clean, with pretty potted flowers everywhere. And the people–they were so nice, welcoming and honest. The Ivatans (that’s what you call them) are known for their honesty, they pride themselves with their zero crime rate and get this, they even have a store called ‘Honesty Cafe’ where you basically get what you need and leave your payment in a designated area. It was such a unique experience–I felt like I was one with nature when I was there, and I swear, time went by at a slower pace.

I would’ve enjoyed it more if I had brought the right clothes for the trip. I don’t know why I thought it was going to be hot (I think I was only able to retain the word “beach” when they were explaining the itinerary to me and just based it on that), and so my luggage was full of tank tops, shorts and bikinis and I was freezing the entire time. So apparently Batanes is known for its cool and windy weather (everyone knew except me) and it rains all the time there, at any month of the year. We were lucky to experience all sorts of weather conditions when we were there–it was cloudy, foggy, rainy and sunny during the four days we were there. Oh, I forgot to mention we were there filming my show, Trending Now that’s why the weather was so important to us. But more or less our stay there was pleasant–mostly cool and a little sunny.

Our trip was made possible by the good people of Skyjet and Batanes Cultural Travel Agency (BCTA), who organized everything for us. From our air travel to our itinerary, food and accommodations, they made it all happen. And if you were planning a trip to Batanes, it would be way easier to go through them as they can fix everything for you. My fun experience was documented in Trending Now–the show airs every Sunday, 9pm on ANC (haha shameless plug). Of course, I also took lots of photos for my blog. Hope you enjoy my little travel diary!

IMG_1461Here’s what we rode: a BAE-146 series 200 (94-seater), the same aircraft used by the British Royal Family. It specializes in operating in short and unpaved runways and is built for safety and speed, allowing for shorter travel time. With extra cargo space, it also affords travellers the ease of bringing your favorite things and gears along with you – surfboards included!

IMG_1439It was a nice, smooth flight. And they serve free food and drinks, too.

IMG_1447With the CEO of Skyjet Airlines, Dr. Joel Mendoza.

IMG_1724As soon as we land, we are greeted by this. SO beautiful.

IMG_1787What a view.

IMG_1714More rocky shores.

IMG_1790Most beaches have these amazing rock formations.

IMG_1672Can you spot the fisherman?

IMG_1752We visited the House of Dakay (1887) a UNESCO heritage building. I went inside and saw there was a family living there, the descendants of Dakay. This is the oldest house in Batanes and constructed in the traditional way: rocks cemented together with cooked limestone.

IMG_1740This was taken next door. We had to wait for a tour group to finish visiting the house before shooting. In the meantime, I shot my “summer outfit” haha–denim shirt and shorts from GUESS Jeans, sandals from TOMS, scarf from Vero Moda and bag from Kooba.

img_1733-1I really love this scarf from Vero Moda–it saved me from the cold!

IMG_1732I love these details. Most houses had shutters and doors painted in bright colors.

IMG_1749Potted flowers. Most houses had these on their front porches. Pretty!

IMG_1777Just another normal thing here in Batanes–to see horses grazing. IMG_1830Here I am at Rakuh-A-Payaman – known as “Marlboro Country”, a pasture overlooking farm fields & the Pacific Ocean. It is just beautiful here. But what you don’t see are my teeth chattering. I was freezing!!! 

IMG_1863Attempting to shoot something. It was so windy!

IMG_1544But what a view. I mean, it is so worth the cold!

IMG_2223A lighthouse not so far away.     

IMG_1875The Church of San Carlos Borromeo, Mahatao. It is one of the few churches in the Philippines that bear the Spanish escudo.

IMG_1889Looking up.

IMG_1898Inside the church.

IMG_1899I love the ceiling. It makes the church look so interesting.   

IMG_1886I made a turn into one of the rooms of the church and saw this view.

Cocorose London

I love flats! They’re my go-to shoes when I want to be comfortable. Even when I’m wearing heels I make sure to bring a pair with me, in case I need to make a quick change (I don’t see the point of suffering in painful sky-high heels). Needless to say, I have many pairs of flats in my shoe closet. And as much as I try not to, I tend to wear them out pretty quickly as I use them almost everyday. Thats why I’m always on the lookout for pretty flats that are comfortable and well-made. Finding that perfect pair has always been quite the challenge as most shoe brands would tend to sacrifice style for comfort, or would end up using cheaper materials that wouldn’t last long. This was, of course, before I discovered COCOROSE London.

If there were a brand that is able to balance style, comfort and quality, Cocorose would be it. I discovered it a few weeks ago when I was invited to visit their store. As soon as I entered the store, I knew I struck gold. The flats were just so stylish and its materials were so luxurious, I honestly had a difficult time choosing which pair to get. And the best part–they are just the most comfortable things on your feet. I could not wait to wear the pair I chose, I wore it out of the store!

What I love about the flats are the little details that make the shoe super comfortable. The pair I got was from their Classic Elegance range which are specially designed with a fully flexible outer sole, enabling the shoes to be worn throughout the day or folded up conveniently for travelling purposes (this makes it easy to stash in your bag). Plus, it has double cushioned insoles, non-slip outer soles and a petite heel. All these little things make it such a joy to wear, they’ve become my go-to everyday shoes.

Ill be posting an outfit shot with me wearing my Cocorose flat soon. In the meantime, here are the many, many styles for you to choose from. These were taken at their Glorietta 5 store.

cocorose

Cocorose London is available at Rustan’s Alabang, Makati, Shangri-La and Cebu
Tarte Tatin- Rockwell, Greenbelt 5
The Flat Shop- Eastwood Glorietta 3, Greenhills
Cocorose London Glorietta 5

For inquiries, please call us at 949 30 65.

LIKE Cocorose on Facebook – check out https://www.facebook.com/Cocoroselondonph

 

Toms One for One

I’m sure most of you have heard of TOMS shoes–I mean, its a pretty popular shoe brand. Some of you may even own a pair or two, but I wonder how many actually know what the brand is about and what it stands for. I had a pretty vague idea. Well, I knew that it was centered around the idea of “ONE for ONE”–for every pair you buy, they’ll be giving another pair to a person in need. But that was it. I didn’t know where they were giving Toms shoes, or whether they would be giving the exact pair I bought to that person in need of shoes (haha I know, then they would have to find a girl with size 8 feet, right). Of course, I thought the idea was brilliant, but there was somehow a disconnect as I didn’t know the facts, nor have I seen a shoe giving event before.

I recently met with the distributors of TOMS in the Philippines (they’re the people behind Nothing but H20 and SWIM Designer Swimwear) and found out this idea is way bigger than I ever imagined it to be. It all started with American traveler Blake Mycoskie in 2006 when during a trip to a village in Argentina he noticed the children he befriended had no shoes to protect their feet. Wanting to help, he created TOMS (short for “Tomorrow’s shoes”), a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. The idea was called (yes, you guessed it) One for One. Realizing this movement could serve other basic needs, TOMS Eyewear was launched. With every pair purchased, TOMS will help give sight to a person in need. One for One. Since its launch, it has helped restore sight in 13 countries, to more than 150,000 individuals around the world. TOMS has also given 10 million pairs of shoes to children in need–this encompasses 60 countries, and ultimately, the shoes did more than just protect feet. Shoes helped improve school attendance and enrolment. And because the shoes are produced in areas where they give them, it creates and supports jobs in places where they are needed. What a company.

TOMS is currently giving pairs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Argentina, China and now, the Philippines. It has given 50,000 pairs of shoes to the Philippines through NGO partners such as Salesian Missions, Children International, Feed the Children and Operation Blessing. And in the aftermath of Yolanda, TOMS shoes have been positioned with giving partners responding to the typhoon. I was lucky enough to be at the latest shoe giving event which was at Tagaroroc Elementary School in Caticlan. The school was hit by the recent typhoon and was damaged along with the few structures in the area. The event was incredibly heartwarming and moving–to be able to give something as basic as shoes to children who don’t even own a pair is just such a beautiful thing. I’m glad I was able to experience this, and be part of this rewarding event.

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Students at Tagaroroc school assemble for the mini program before the shoe giving event.

IMG_7304The children lined up to meet us. They were so sweet, they all waved and smiled at us, and gave us a heartfelt welcome.

IMG_7301Tagarococ Elementary School, Aklan.

20140221_095304The kids wait for the program to start.

20140221_095104I had a little chat with Tagaroroc’s teachers. They were the nicest.

20140221_094606Snuck a peek into one of their classrooms.

IMG_7311Fellow bloggers also at the event: Nicole Andersson and Laureen Uy.

  20140221_100939TOMS shoes to be given to the little kids.

20140221_100805Aren’t they cute? They came in metallic pink, purple, silver and black.

20140221_100706TOMS shoes up close. 

20140221_100234These were the ones given away to the older kids. They come in black.

20140221_105733Basic things like Band-Aids were also given to the kids.

20140221_100624And a bar of soap to each kid.

20140221_105854Laureen lines the kids up for shoe giving.

20140221_100603Nicole and Laureen organize the pairs of shoes to be given.

20140221_105925Fashion blogger Camille Co was also there–she washed the kids’ feet before they were given TOMS shoes.

20140221_112213Nicole put on TOMS shoes on the kids.

 20140221_105239Happy kids wearing their sparkly TOMS shoes.

20140221_105152They were also given a bag of school essentials, like caps, shirts, etc.

20140221_112757These ladies pose with their new TOMS shoes.

IMG_7312I was so happy to meet these kids. They were so friendly and nice.

IMG_7321These happy girls were on their way home and wanted a photo.

20140221_122435 With the teachers of Tagaroroc Elementary School.

     20140221_122609#OneforVisayas! So happy to be part of this event.

        IMG_7338After the shoe giving event, we were allowed a little R&R at Boracay.

IMG_7339Happy to have shared this experience with these ladies.

      20140220_170423Pretty sandals from TOMS’s Spring-Summer 2014 collection.

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TOMS is available at Nothing But H20 branches, Swim Designer Swimwear, The Give Project branches, Adora, Shoe Salon branches, Jump branches, Rustan’s branches, Trilogy Boutique and Canteen.

 

 

Suiteblanco

I’m in love!!! I’ve recently come across Spanish clothing brand Suiteblanco and found myself absolutely smitten. Their pieces are stylish and wearable, and they fit so well. A visit to their store in SM Aura was all it took, and soon I was excitedly picking out my favorites from their Spring-Summer 2014 collection. I remember being inside their dressing room for quite some time, trying out one cute top / skirt / jeans / swimsuit / heels / purse / necklace after the other. It was so difficult to limit my purchase to just a few items. I was seriously in retail heaven!

Their latest collection is just so pretty. It ranges from fresh, classic pieces in black and white to trendy silhouettes in pops of graphic print and color. I don’t know how they did it, but they’ve managed to create structured yet soft tops, skirts and dresses that fit and flatter in the right places. They also carry bohemian-beach styles in soft knits, lace and crochet that I just couldn’t do without. They’re the perfect pieces to add to your summer wardrobe! If you wanted to see their latest collection, check out the video links below. I am positive you will be swooning just as I did! (Another plus: supermodel Izabel Goulart–yes, she’s also the model in Victoria’s Secret and Armani Exchange campaigns–is the brand’s newest face. She’s the gorgeous lady in all these videos.)

CONTEST TIME!!! I haven’t done this in awhile so I am super excited about this. Suiteblanco will be having a SHOPPING CHALLENGE and yup, you and I are part of it. Its going to be a #SuiteSummerWithKimJones as fellow bloggers Patty Laurel-Filart, Camille Santiago and I will become your Fashion Mentors, and Suiteblanco Fashion Muse Kim Jones will be the Judge for this shopping challenge.

Joining this contest is SUPER EASY! Here’s what you have to do:

(1) Follow @suiteblanco on Instagram.

(2) Regram the Suiteblanco #SuiteSummerWithKimJones shopping challenge artwork I will be posting on Instagram today.

(3) Explain in your caption why you deserve to win this shopping challenge.

(4) Don’t forget to tag: @kellymisa @suiteblanco and use hashtags: #suitesummer #suitesummerwithkimjones.

 

Winners of each celebrity blogger will get to participate in the shopping challenge and take home ALL THE ITEMS they pick out. Very important: the shopping challenge will happen on April 26 (Saturday), 2pm at Suiteblanco store at SM Aura Premier–if you win, you (and not anyone else) will need to be available on this day to SHOP WITH US! My winner will be announced on APRIL 24 via Twitter / Instagram / my blog. This contest is only available to Metro Manila residents only.

Good luck!!!