The Young Mom’s First Summer Party #‎CosmoSummerPH2016‬

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Did I tell you that my University life was boring? If you are going to compare it with the ‘cool’ clique, that is. It was more of a ‘school  – dorm – school – dorm’ kind of life except for occasional ‘dates’ with my then boyfriend. It was my choice by the way because I needed to maintain my grades as I was an Academic Scholar for multiple semesters. OK, it is safe to say that I was a geek  – or maybe I still am. 🙂

So when Cha invited me for #‎CosmoSummerPH2016‬ last March 19 at The Palace Pool Club,  I immediately said yes. She also invited Carie (a very close friend and my travel buddy) and Chessi (a mestiza who made our BGC walk more interesting – details later 🙂 ) Hey, it’s not everyday that you’d get an invite from one of your favorites reads. Plus, this is a totally new experience for me. I freed my schedule and felt giddy (yes, so highshool).

First thing that came to my mind? WHAT WILL I WEAR? 

You know I’m a thrift- spender right? There are times that I wanted to change my blog name to ThriftyMomma *winks*. But anyway, I didn’t want to buy expensive clothes for the event so I just wore this:

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(1) Top : 85 PHP from the Public Market  (2) Pants : From my Mom  (3) Nude Sandals : PHP 120 from the Public Market 😀 My cab fare was more expensive!

We came at around 4PM and I fell in line with so much expectations from the event. Or maybe I was thinking about the Cosmo Bash where girls would go ga-ga over the perfectly chiseled abs of hunky male species.

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Most of the invitees looked chic for the event. 🙂
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The set – up was quite inviting. But I guess we came too early because it wasn’t jam – packed at that time.

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Carie, Chessi and Cha. Oh my gosh! And I’m the only one with a name that starts with ‘B’. Also, what sets me apart from them is that these girls are quite obsessed with neat eyebrows. I am so not gonna do it girls! Not when the trend of bushy eyebrows is still here!
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We found a good spot to drink. But quite frankly, we were getting bored at this time. It was already 5 or 6PM  and all we did was took photos here and there. We asked, “Will there ever be a program?”
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One of the event’s sponsors – KojieSan SunBlock

It was around 7:00 PM when they started to fire the event with games sponsored by Okomato Condom and KojieSan SunBlock. These were kinky games so I’d rather have it not posted here. 😉  Ok, you got me there. I forgot to take photos because I was busy watching them play . You can check Cha and Chessi’s blogs if you want to know what I mean.

Palmolive and Wella were there too. In fact, Carie won some goodies from Wella. That lucky dudette. She’s been winning for 2 days straight (the other one was from the company we work for).

Since the event started late, our tummies were not prepared for it. After a couple of games, we all decided to just leave and eat somewhere ‘near’ and ‘cheap’. That’s quite challenging when you are in BGC ha!

Side story: We were walking to find a place to eat when suddenly Chessi blurted out something like, “Ano ba kuya, sunod ka ng sunod. Kanina ka pa.” We turned around and saw a man (maybe in his late 20s following us). Good thing there was a construction site with a guard and that made us feel safer. After that incident we talked about our own experiences, specifically the times when we became victims of ‘catcallers’ and ‘maniacs’. Maybe I should post something about it soon. 

We reached ARMY NAVY and alongside the yummy treats, we talked about random things which made us forget about time. I enjoyed it better than the event. 🙂

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At least we’ve got balls! 🙂 Hahaha… Although, it was really hard to get off the air from these babies. Hence, the post! Pump it harder, Carie!

VERDICT! 

The event wasn’t that bad. But it wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. Perhaps there should be more interactive gimmicks prior the actual program. Fun games within the sponsors’ booths or even some makeover bar on the side? It was lacking  ‘spunk’, ‘spice’ and ‘fierceness’ which all Cosmo girls have. During our stay, fellow girls just took photos and selfies because… what was there to do?

If it reached our expectations, I guess we would stay longer. But we didn’t. 🙂  Again, my expectation was that of a Cosmo Bash. 🙂 So maybe I am the one to blame? No, I don’t think so.

 

 

 

 

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Confessions of a ‘STUBBORN’ Mom, Making Firm ‘Life – Changing’ Decisions

I was always hard – headed (so they say). For some, I’m am no short of being stubborn. But you know what, my optimistic and renewed self thinks otherwise.

I am not a rebel.

I am not stubborn.

I outgrew that stage already and have become an adult who can make her own decisions  is trying her best to be firm with her decisions..

Now, why am I saying this?

Few people might misinterpret my new found independence. They believe that I just wanted to cleave for selfish reasons (to get off my parents’ radar). But that’s wrong. In fact, those people who love and care for me have already understood the benefits of me leaving my parents’ house even before I opened this decision to them. And I am so thankful for it. I am very grateful for my family and friends who are supportive. And as much as I don’t need to explain my so – called ‘stubbornness’ I feel that I have to because it will help not just the young moms out there, but those who are now willing to take another chapter in their lives – become a responsible adult.

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While deciding to let go is a tough decision, being free has tougher consequences and you have to be ready for it.

MAKING A TOUGH DECISION

It was hard for me to let go of my childish ways. But I need to make a decision not just for myself, but for my kids. I know that they will look up to me and I want them to see their mom as someone who takes challenges head-on. Of course I can give them words of wisdom (the same things which my parents shared with us), but you see, I believe I can hone them to their fullest potential by doing these 2 :

  1. By setting a good example
  2. By letting them commit their own mistakes so they could learn from it.

So I did what I have to do – MADE A LIFE – CHANGING DECISION.

I looked for a house and decided to live on my own.

BUT DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR PARENTS’ HOUSE? (I see you are still confused and if I am correct, you are raising an eyebrow. So here’s more to prove my point. )  

The answer is NO.

Some of you might say, “You can just contribute to the expenses” or “What does it have to do with having a new house (which by the way is just 50 steps away from my parents’). I understand what you are saying but here’s my piece about it.

My parents did not approve of this when I first told them I was moving out. They had so many concerns most especially that I’m working and might not be able to look after my kids. But you see, they have raised a tigress. My dad was strict and was a disciplinarian and my mom balanced the toughness. I have to commend their ways because it made me tougher. Sadly for some, they think it was being stubborn. Truth be told, I might not like all my parents’ ideas and stand in life  and I might be very vocal about it, but that doesn’t equate to being disrespectful. Because I will always respect  them. With all the things they have gone through in life – they earned it, they deserved it.

While they had doubts of me being on my own – they respected it. It clearly showed that they trust me. After all, my decision to leave  is MY WAY of telling them that they have raised me well and that finally, I can do it on my own. Yes, I may not be the perfect daughter, but they have done their best for me to be firm and tough. And I would like to believe I am strong to shove off whatever this world throws at me.

I did not do this just because I wanted to break their hearts – because I already did that (unintentionally) a couple of times.  But I have to reiterate that it was MY WAY of learning.

Remember when you were about to go to college and your parents asked you where you wanted to study? And then you’d think about the degree you want to pursue at that time and from there, you chose the colleges and universities best for your choice. For me, that was my logic. I needed to leave and build a home to satisfy my hunger to learn greater things about life.  

AND HERE’S MY ADVICE FOR YOU

You can have your own big decisions like finally getting your own car, or paying for the house bills. It’s just that for me – I think this is the best. I might be wrong, or I might stumble months from now – but that’s the fun part of it. You’d learn new things from the good and the bad experiences. Plus, you won’t have to  blame other people for your actions. You will always go back to your decisions and the good thing about it is that there is no way but up/ out- ALWAYS (in case you get in trouble). After all, everything in this world is a game of survival.

WHAT HAVE I LEARNED SO FAR

In case you don’t know my friends, living on your own – more so managing your own house takes gazillion responsibilities. I have to clean, cook, check the groceries, remember the due dates of the bills etc. Tiring, but obviously, it’s giving me a pass to a new school of life called – adulthood. I’m still learning and in the process, my kids will learn great things too (and I’m not just talking about cleaning up their toys).

Yes, I still miss those days when my mom would just call me for lunch instead of me cooking our own meals. I still miss those days that my money would go to my weekly vice to meet friends and colleagues in the metro. But then again, I’m experiencing new and better things and that’s fine with me.

 

 

Reliving the Golden Words, Philippine Proverbs Book Launch

How’s everyone doing?

Me? I’m pretty much busy with all the jobs and events that I attended last week. I can say, I am learning this juggling thing  – and it isn’t easy. But again, who’s complaining?

One of the events that I attended was Philippine Proverbs Book Launch last March 15, 2016 at Via Mare Greenbelt.

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You know I’m sort of a bookworm, right? But the thing is, I don’t usually go for the ‘mainstream’ manuscripts or those that gain so much popularity. I love to read books that are fresh and unique so I can bring something new to the table when I’m having conversation with a circle. So when I got an invite for this event, I didn’t hesitate to join. Plus, it was my chance to meet other moms. So off I went to the city where mountains are replaced by towering buildings and ‘cock-a-doodle-doos’ are replaced with endless honking.

Me, the Early Bird (Just because I don’t want to get stuck in a traffic)

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Cute-sy!

I was an early bird. In fact, when I reached Via Mare, they were still setting up the venue. It was fine with me because 1) I love seeing behind- the – scenes 2) it gave me a chance to personally have a small chit chat with Tahanan Books’ Publisher, Reni Roxas, who by the way looked so divine and smart (I thought, I should have ditched this rugged sneakers and opted for my decent heels) and Philippine Proverbs’ Illustrator, Eisen Bernardo.

Reni was very accommodating and we had a couple of talks and she even allowed me to browse the book. I scanned it and found familiar proverbs which my grandparents and parents used to tell us when we were younger.

You know what I love about proverbs? It’s that feeling that you have to think deeper in order to understand one. Proverbs are not straight to the point advices in life. It is sometimes ‘flowery’ which leaves us with ‘WHAT-  THE-  HELL-  WAS – IT – ALL-  ABOUT’ face? But that’s the good thing about it! There are so many interpretations but most of these interpretations are wisdom which are practical and can be used in our everyday lives. That being said, exposing yourself to proverbs does not only make you a better person – it gives way to exercise your thoughts, and that is the fun part.

Sad to say, kids today aren’t really much interested on knowing these proverbs. Most of the time, they would rather memorize One Direction’s songs. I’m not saying their songs are bad. For crying out loud, I listen to some of the tunes too (punch me now, will you?). But you know, these proverbs were made to live for centuries – for us to remain on our grounds – for us to keep our values. And this book is becoming an instrument for that.

And then Reni had to get the book from me because according to her, she’ll use it first for her speech.  We laughed a bit afterwards and then politely left to entertain the other guests.

For someone who’s hungry for conversation, I was looking for another person to talk to. Good thing Eisen came because I just couldn’t shut my mouth for excitement. 🙂

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The man behind the great illustration of Philippine Proverbs

Eisen and I are both from Laguna so I knew it would be very easy to engage in a conversation. He graduated from UPLB and I have few friends there. And you know how small the world is, right?  We have few common friends! We could talk about our friends, but of course I asked the more interesting questions.

Here are some of the tidbits.

He told me that it took him a year to finish the illustrations for the book. I have no idea if that was slow or fast, but by the looks of it – it was worth it.  He is very humble considering that he is making a name for himself in the cyber world. He makes awesome designs, really! You can easily google his works and drool over interesting and sometimes, mind – breaking works of art.

Start of the Program

The number of people are getting ‘thicker’, so it was time for him to sit on his chair.

The event started late but it was fine. After all, it gave me a chance to get to know the other mommy bloggers. We exchanged Facebook names and laughed about silly things.

It was a fun event. In fact, it was so much fun I volunteered to join a game (with other bloggers) and WON! It was sort of a ‘Guess –  the-  Drawing – Game’, which of course, related to proverbs. Can you guess this?

Guess The Picture
Aanhin pa ang damo, kung wala na ang kabayo. REALLY???

Well, it only took us 10 seconds to figure it out. We went hysterical because there is no way that drawing could be a ‘horse’. 🙂  Then I thought, our kids trained us to understand abstract drawings! *wink*

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Jen, the master illustrator! Haha

 

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A unique game of BINGO – I didn’t win though.

Yummy Treats

Merienda was served and I took small bites of EVERYTHING! Pinoy merienda at its finest, I must say. And then you know what happened next? A couple suddenly fought in front of the crowd. We tried to pretend that we weren’t noticing their feud but their voices were getting louder.

When the woman blurted a familiar ‘proverb’, I knew this was part of the act. I got my phone and started recording it because damn, these two actors were great.

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Fan mode here. 🙂

After some great words from Neni Sta. Romana- Cruz and Eisen, the bloggers were given copies of the book and we had ours signed by them. While doing so, I was already imaging myself telling few of these proverbs to my kids with the hopes that they will use it as long as they live.

Philippine Proverbs is a must have for kids and also for tweens. It is about time that we relive these golden words. You have to face the fact that the younger generations do not understand and appreciate these great words which they could use to live a better life in the future. Plus, with the different dialects used in the book – I’m sure it will be even more fun and everyone will learn a lot!

Verdict

I am giving the event a 4 out of 5 stars and the book a 5.5 out of 5 🙂

P.S. Here are some of the books from Tahanan Publishing which were sold at the event. You can check more from their website (Please click link) .

 

Hotel Review – Hotel 101, Pasay Manila

My parents were not fond of staying in hotels in Manila when we were younger. The hotels I could remember are those from our out-  of – town trips.  It was only now that we appreciated ‘staycations’. In fact, if you are following my blog, you know that  we booked a room and decided to face New Year at Golden Phoenix Hotel.

Speaking of staycations, I shared my recent adventure with my kids and colleagues which you can find here.  And of course, I’m going to make my personal review of the hotel. 🙂

Here it goes.

 

Lobby

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So much space right?
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And here’s the other side.

It was ok. Clean. TOO CLEAN, I might add. The space was so huge, my kids played and ran around. Mundane, perhaps? Nothing so much to see. Very basic which gave me the impression that Hotel 101 is —- basic. 🙂

Rooms

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The 3 rooms we got were pretty much identical. It has a Large Double Bed and a Single Bed. Based on my ‘reliable’ assumption, it can house more or less 4 people. Unless of course you are willing to squeeze. *wink* You have your own cute kitchenette with few free items and a small desk if you need to work a bit. Plus, you have your emergency light and a vault for your valuables.

Bed/s 

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Single Bed
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Large Double Bed

I already mentioned the sizes of the bed so let’s just get down to the ‘feel’ of these babies.  COMFY, as usual. The mattress is just perfect –  not too soft and not too hard.

Toilet and Bath 

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The blow-dryer  didn’t work. Or maybe, I don’t know how to use it. 😀
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Toilet and you can have a glimpse of the sliding door

To save space (I think), they used a sliding  door for the Toilet and Bath. But to be fair, the size of the T &B is just fine with me. You can comfortably take a bath  – and sing in the shower (or take it further by doing some small silly dance steps). 🙂

Linens 

Fresh, as expected.

Food 

Unfortunately, the restaurant is yet to be operational. Good thing the property is just beside Jollibee. 🙂

Pool

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My kids enjoying the kiddie pool.

I actually regret not bringing a swimsuit as there is a Jacuzzi. My goodness, it could definitely cut my stress. But well, seeing my children enjoy the kiddie pool is enough for me to feel better. There’s also a bigger pool for adults and it’s decent enough to flex those muscles.

Comment 

But there was one eyebrow  – raising experience at the hotel. You see,  we were allowed to eat chips near the pool area (this was our first night). Well, it has some sort of a barricade which is meters away from the pool. So technically, this was not a pool side. The morning after, the guard asked us not to drink coffee at that same area as it was prohibited. Of course I told him about the ‘last night’s’ chips and drinks shenanigans and that I had to be there for my kids, however he said that it was the management’s policy. I asked when did they start that policy and was shocked when he said, “Kanina lang pong umaga” Just this morning.

What? Next time they should put a signage.

I’m sure it wasn’t our fault. Perhaps, it was this family who decided to bring their meal minutes before we came. It was full blown meal with rice and viands and drinks. You can just imagine a picnic at your local resort – that was the scenario. So maybe that’s the reason they pulled the trigger and immediately implemented such rule. 🙂

But for coffee? Really? Isn’t it that there are cocktails and smoothies being served at the pool side (for some properties, I guess).

Rate per Night (Booking.com)

We had ours on a promo rate but I took the liberty of checking the rates online.

PHP 3,055 excluded of VAT and Taxes – Not bad!

Verdict: 

It’s not much but I guess if you are looking for a place near Mall of Asia and you want to experience few and basic hotel facilities, then Hotel 101 is a good choice.

Wait, there’s more. 🙂

Hotel 101 is not just for people who are looking for a place to stay, it’s also for investors.

“You can invest by acquiring a piece of the hotel. Your owned room will be managed as part of Hotel 101 Manila, and as the owner you will have a yearly 30 days free use of the room, and enjoy your privilege in the hotel amenities and what its location can offer. Monthly, the 30% of the total gross sales less VAT will be equally divided among unit owners, and you will be paid on every 16th day after the end of each month.”  – from Hotel 101 Manila’s Website

Unit is around 3.1M PHP. You can find more information from their website.

 

 

A Lovely Staycation with Kids and Colleagues at Hotel 101

Finally, a short ‘free’ time to write for my blog. 🙂  I’ve been pretty busy these past few days (and will still be busy in the upcoming weeks)! But who’s complaining?

Let’s get the ball rolling, shall we?

I just wanted to share with you my weekend adventure with the kids and few of my colleagues from Rajah Travel .

It was a couple of weeks ago when I was invited by my boss to book a hotel room at Hotel 101 in Pasay (I’ll make a separate post for my review). I was a bit hesitant because I was still in the process of moving in and I had to save moolah for a whole bunch of things. However it all changed when she told me that we could get a special rate – oh the perks of working for a travel agency. Plus, I asked a good friend and colleague to come with me so we can share the bill. Ha! Am I smart or what?

Kidding aside, I thought that it would be a great opportunity to relax, spend time with my kids and also revive my fluctuating social life. It was actually a brilliant plan.

Come Saturday, I packed our things and prepared for the battle. I say battle because I decided not to bring a car and just used the public transportation. Imagine – me with a huge travelling bag and 2 kids!

If you are planning to use public transportation for a long journey and you have your kids with you, here are some of my tips:

  • Brief your kids. Tell them what to do when they get lost or your rules so you can already manage their expectations.
  • Make it a fun journey. It was my daughter’s first time to ride a bus and it was their first time to ride an MRT. I convinced them that it was sort of an adventure  – even if we all know it’s a pain in the arse to ‘commute’ within the metro.
  • Do not bring a lot of bags. I just brought 2 (1 for our clothes, 1 for my valuables). Carrying multiple bags is a big NO – NO for me because it would just add up to my worries.

Am I carrying it all?

Am I missing a bag?

Where did I put my wallet?

With just few bags, you can maximize your hands! 🙂

  • Bring snacks. I actually forgot ours so we ended up hungry for almost an hour. Bad!
  • Carry a truck load of patience. Need I say more?
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See? They were enjoying! While I, on the other hand, was carrying a heavy bag trying to pretend I’m fine 😀 

Our first stop was at Driven Marketing’s Office. I was so happy my co – brokers were so helpful in looking out for my kids as I had to interview one agent. 🙂

Off we go to Rajah Travel. Luckily, it was their Annual Physical Examination schedule and other parents brought their kids with them. Let’s just say, a part of the office became a playpen. That was a good way to kill time before we headed to Hotel 101.

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My colleagues/ friends with my kids. 🙂

My first consideration for a hotel is the pool. Thing is, kids don’t enjoy hotel rooms as much as adults do.  So having a pool is a must if you are planning a staycation. They pretty much enjoyed it and thank heavens my colleagues were helpful. They helped me carry my bags and dress up my kids, or just holding their hands while we cross the streets. These little things matter for a single parent like me, you know. 🙂

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We stayed at the pool side so I can still watch over my kids. 🙂 Thank you for being so considerate guys. 

When it was time to hit the sack (for the kids), we all went to our room to play cards. I learned fast, I must say! It was so much fun because 1) I learned something new 2) I was able to beat them a couple of times. Although, I will not share my stupid questions and tactics during the game of Pusoy Dos! Let this post be about my achievement. *Laughs*

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Strategy 101 

After checking out, we ate at Vikings – Thank you Ms. Stef!

I’m not a fan of buffet so I can’t make a decent review about it. It was just food for me – a whole lot of it. To cut it short, I don’t think I was able to maximize my stay. Don’t get me wrong. With this body, it is quite obvious that I eat a lot. It’s just that, I can’t eat much in such a short span of time.

Time to go home after a 3 – hour lunch!

I was dead tired and felt sick after another long bus and jeepney rides. I dozed off instantly upon reaching my apartment. My body is telling me that it’s not OK by making me feel pains here and there.  But it was all worth it. It was one of the best weekends so far and every money I spent didn’t matter. I don’t care repeating it again and I don’t mind tagging my kids along – even if that means I’d experience the same exhaustion.

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Looking fresh. I just had to take a shot because minutes after – I looked like a mess! 

Until our next hotel adventure.

A Little Something for My Brother

I made a post about my brother last year, so if you want to read it please click here.

Ok, I am no poet, but I love to play with words. 🙂 Here’s one for my brother who just celebrated his 30th birthday.

I have seen your struggles
I have you seen you fight
I have seen your weakness
Outpowered by your might

We have been into hurdles
And shed teardrops in between
We got ourselves into trouble
And had no worries where to lean

As you celebrate being thirty
I promise that I will always be,
Your little sister that can always see
The best in you since I was three

 

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My most handsome brother – my only brother. 

 

I Spent Practically NOTHING for My Outfit

If you must know, I’m really a thrift – spender and I don’t go for the expensive clothes (unless for the classic pieces) because of these reasons.

  1. I would rather splurge on travel or maybe for some stuff I can use in my NEW HOME. 🙂 If you haven’t read my post about my decision to move out, please click here. Or if I’m going to buy clothes, I will make sure that it’s not too trendy. This is so it will never go out of style and I can wear it for YEARS!
  2. Dressing up is not my priority. I am a firm believer that if you carry yourself confidently, it doesn’t matter if you are in flats or heels. Don’t get me wrong though, I still have those days when I would pick a dress from my closet and admire myself in front of the mirror. I think it’s my way of reassuring myself that I am confidently beautiful … with a heart… and big hips!  But again, it isn’t my priority.

Now, let’s get back to my story.

I attended a ‘Black and White’ party a couple of weeks ago. To my surprise, few people (mostly people I don’t know) appreciated what I wore that night. They said it was simple yet classy. Well, actually that’s what I always aim for –  sleek, chic and classy. So thank you very much. 🙂   But here’s a little secret,  I didn’t spend anything for my wardrobe. 

Young Mommy BA just got invited. 😉 #GoldenPhoenixHotel #Blogger

A post shared by BA Isla (@baisla.speaks) on

You think I might be exaggerating? I AM NOT!

Corset Type Top (See, I don’t even know how to call it)  : A hand-  me – down from my sister – in – law years ago.

Black Pencil Skirt : A gift from my mama before I graduated from college. So yes, that was 7 years ago. But if I had money back then, I would buy it for myself because I knew it will never go out of style.

Nude Heels : Another gift from my mom. 🙂

To be honest, I could buy a new wardrobe if I wanted to. But I thought that it would be a good opportunity to rummage my closet for old yet classic finds. Lo and behold, I was able to put up a nice outfit for the event.

So what am I trying to tell you? Here are just some few tips from me.

  1. When invited to an event, a special occasion or some sort of gathering, I know it can be pretty exciting to run to the nearest mall for a new outfit. DON’T… just yet. I suggest that you look for interesting pieces in your own closet. Who knows if you still have that gorgeous skirt underneath those scarves and whatnots? It’s about time that you become resourceful by mixing outfits.
  2. If you are going to shop, opt for the classic and timeless pieces. In the end, it will turn out to be more practical.

Of course, I have to thank my mom and sister- in – law for this particular wardrobe. But hey, I’ve learned valuable things from it. 🙂

That’s it.

It’s almost 1AM. I need to get some sleep. Good Night!