Friday, Friday!

On Fridays, we are allowed to wear jeans but I still opted to wear black pants because my beloved pair of jeans is still yet to be laundered. However, I was more keen to use this printed shirt with the robot bag because they both have the capacity to make me look, errrr, younger. LOL

1017 printed shirt, black skinny pants, Yves Saint Laurent patent sneakers and green Prada tessuto robot 2 tote

I’ve been using a lot of canvas and nylon bags lately, and even if I hate to admit it, I’m also kind of getting over my love of heavy leather bags. Under the summer heat, I prefer not to lug around a heavy luggage and anything non-leather makes my life easier. But in a month or so, summer will be up soon, and rainy season won’t be too kind as well. I have been looking at a functional bag on Ebay, from a brand I have never owned before. And that was when I saw this Porter by Yoshida Freestyle 2 Way briefcase bag.

The Porter by Yoshida briefcase bag on Ebay

(Photo from the Ebay seller)

Technically, I’ve been seeing this bag listed on Ebay since last year, and I kept on having tentative decisions whether I should just go for it or not. The first thing that put me off was the color. It it were on a happier color (i.e. red or even blue) or anything neutral other than black (preferably camel), I would have definitely gotten it in a snap. But as I already have a lot of black bags, common sense tells me that I don’t need another bag in black. Frankly, I’ve been trying to get rid of some of my bags by selling them online, but things are not going as fast as I’ve originally hoped. I’m really determined to downsize my stuff this year, given that I will be working in another sector where I need more discreet and less recognizable items to use. This Porter by Yoshida bag perfectly fits the bill. Discreet – check, functional – check, weatherproof – check; so what am I waiting for? The seller.

Porter by Yoshida Freestyle briefcase bag from BLACKBIRD

I’m still waiting for the seller’s reply. I remember haggling for the price way back in February but I have completely forgotten about asking. And then I thought of checking if the bag is still available, and saw that the seller had actually answered my request. It has been almost three months since that reply, and I’m still hoping that the offer still stands. I think i’m getting an extremely good deal over it at Php 1,500 total, especially the same bag is sold for US$ 500 on BLACKBIRD, and for US$ 603.25 of Ebay.com! The item looks leather-y but it is actually polyurethane-coated canvas, making it  really durable against the elements. Of course, I’m just justifying this purchase again with all my reasoning might. =D

Ebay headache: Overseas buyer claiming “Item Not Received”

The summer heat is no joke and I’m most happy with the cotton shirts I have in my closet. I could have acquired more before and I’m left circulating the same shirt and polo shirt over and over again. That’s why I was extremely happy when I got this white shirt from Mon’s grandma and Laylay on my birthday last week. I still have to use the clothing allowance we have in the office and when I get extra money, I’ll spend all of them on cotton T-shirts and polo shirts — one in every color. =D

Oxygen shirt, brick pants, Yves Saint Laurent white patent sneakers and Prada nylon and saffiano messenger

Anyway, at the back of my mind, I had a feeling that something seriously bad will happen with one of the items I have sent overseas earlier this month via Registered Mail of PhilPost. One buyer (of a bag) has filed an “Item Not Received” case against me on Ebay 12 days after I have sent her item in April 3. That was not even two weeks since I have sent it and she was pretty much informed of the transit time, as indicated in the auction, as well as my (one-way) correspondences with her uopn sending the item. It mentions that shipping might take “more or less two weeks”, so I was baffled on how quick she was to jump the gun in opening a dispute.

An Ebay 'Item Not Received' case

The tracking in PhilPost’s website was faulty and delayed, and I was excpecting that tracking information will get updated once the item reaches U.S. soil and it may take some time. I have also informed the buyer about this and I’m quite exasperated of her impatience. =/ I know the item will eventually arrive in her homestate and I did not know what will happen to my bag and money once she gets her refund. And of course, Ebay ruled in her favor and it was no surprise that the funds were taken out of my PayPal account. The reason: I allegedly did not provide a valid tracking information and there was no movement in tracking. I was gobsmacked.

There you are, the tracking number from PhilPost finally working  in USPS' website

I have half-heartedly accepted the outcome as selling internationally on Ebay.com is always a great risk. I also not made adequate research on every possible scenario that might happen, nor asked around about insuring the item in case it gets lost. Very expensive lesson, especially I had to take the shipping fee out of my own pocket because my funds are normally held for 21 days because of inadequate selling history. I have lamented this issue over a forum and was then happy to receive words of encouragement from some of the members. At their urging/curiosity, I followed up in the tracking and was happy to see that there was already movement in the tracking. It took me some time to process what was happening and thought of the best way to respond to this development. I contacted Ebay, explained the situation and hoped they would reverse the decision and give my funds back. Ugh.

Advanced birthday party in the office

Friday is wash day but I still ended up wearing these pants again instead of jeans. I think it looks good with this leather mailbag and it was as far as I can do to be color-coordinated. It rain when I was already in the shuttle, though, and I was really worried because I was wearing suede shoes! LOL

Blue F&H polo shirt, skinny khaki pants, Yves Saint Laurent multicolor sneakers, J. Peterman countereit mailbag

Mon and his teammate, Joselle, will be both celebrating their birthdays in Sunday. In connection to this, his team decided to throw a mini-kiddie party, complete with a chocolate fountain and hotdogs on a stick most especially. Even if there were already a lot of us inside the pantry, we still ahd a hard time finishing everything. Well, most were girls and they eat relatively less ravenous than the boys so that was slightly expected.

Birthday boy and birthday girl

Chocolate fountain and hotdogs on a stick

Eating some ice cream

Guilty of the food she ate LOL

I stopped eating rice for dinner since Tuesday  and Faye has stopped eating some since… I don’t exactly know when. LOL Most of the people I was with inside the pantry were the “jogging bunch”, diligently getting their cardio fix before the day ends. I also wanted to join them but I am too lazy to bring workout clothes in the office. Excuses, I know. But I do my own share of exercise at home too!

Red, Green and Whimsical

Just as I have suspected, the seller did not turn the fish-eye effect off! Now that I have received this Tessuto Robot 2, it was evident that the robot did not have a bloated body, unlike the original auction photos. It was exactly as I expected and a little bit more. I thought that it only had one key hand, but it actually has both keys still intact. I immediately looked inside the zipped pocket, hoping to see the removed heatstamped mouth inside, but it was just wishful thinking. =D

Green Prada Tessuto Robot 2 Tote

 

Prada Tessuto Robot 6 and Prada Tessuto Robot 2

But what I was most happy about was this Prada trick keychain included with the bag! Back in Halloween, when I got the nylon backpack, I contemplated over having one of these  quirky tricks/charms to use on the D-ring. I couldn’t believe that it was just given for free! I loved that seller a lot! I was trying to decide what this gingerbread looking man was. A sailor? A nurse? Does it matter?LOL

Prada keychain trick in saffiano from Spring Summer 2005

I immediately recognized this little man because I remember looking at previous collections of Prada before and the Spring/Summer 2005 collection was accessorized with whimsical tricks. I think these were first made as brooches, attached on the lapels and front pockets, then eventually produced as keychains. I also like the airplane one attached on Racquel’s top.

Prada trick on the runway - Racquel Zimmermann, Karen Elson, Daria Werbowy and Shannan Click - Prada Spring Summer 2005

(Photo from stylebistro.com)

I’m really delighted over this trick because it is extremely adorable! I can even attach it to my other bags for that added touch of playfulness in my otherwise stern-looking briefcases and messengers. It is my brightest bag yet and will fit nicely with the upcoming (or should I say, already happening) summer season!

Looking out the window - Prada keychain trick in saffiano from Spring Summer 2005

Green Prada Tessuto Robot 2 tote and Yves Saint Laurent white patent leather sneakers

And its first act was also something green. I have lots of empty PET bottles in the office and I don’t throw them out in the bin as much as possible. We also collect these things at home and bring them weekly to an area where they will be recycled. However, I was too lazy to bring them all home and my nephew even criticized me for not doing so. Since I already have a backpack with me, I decided to use the tessuto tote just once as an eco-bag for these PET bottles. =D

That one time I used this tessuto bag as an eco-bag

I had reservations before in using a tessuto robot tote, but the advent of eco-bag usage in Metro Manila recently will not make my tote look out of place! LOL I’ll just call it my more-flamboyant-than-usual-eco-bag

Remembering my grandmother

The 8th of March marks my late maternal grandmother’s birthday. If she were still alive today, she would have turned 77 years old. I wasn’t able to visit her grave last All Saints Day and the last time I went to the cemetery was during her interment. Because of that, I had already decided since January that I would visit on her birthday and good thing it fell on a Friday, when I could comfortable wear jeans and sneakers. New façade of San Juan City CemeteryAfter I had passed by St. Claire in Katipunan, Mon and I met in Farmers Market to buy some flowers. I forgot to bring some candles with me, but as it was raining lightly, they would just be easily extinguished. Cemeteries always give out a somber atmosphere, and the gray skies did not help to alleviate the gloom. Looking for the exact place of my grandmother’s grave, we got lost on the first turn because of the weeds growing around it. She’s sharing the same place as her mother and uncle, as seen in the tombstone (though her mother’s was written separately).

Flowers for my grandmother's 77th birthday

We then heard footsteps approaching us and they were made by a middle-aged lady, who probably followed us from the entrance. It was very annoying to hear her jabber about the state of the grave, and offered monthly cleaning services. I was honestly at the point of telling her off because I was really in the middle of deep reflection. It was difficult to think and concentrate when someone was just talking away and pulling weeds and shrubs. What I couldn’t understand was why she chose to do her cleaning while we were there, having a quiet moment in front of the grave. And when we left 15 minutes after, she was already trailing behind us. >_< So, why destroy my quiet time? The realist, suspicious side of me thought that the lady MIGHT take the flowers away, after we left the cemetery.

Home Made Carrot Cake in San Juan City

My sister will be jealous!

Before leaving the area, I told Mon of this place, which my sister and me has chosen as a de facto landmark since we were little. As far as I can recall, we’ve been watching out for this giant carrot because it meant that we were already near the cemetery. We never had the chance to have a look inside, though, so I took the opportunity earlier to finally visit this homemade carrot cake place.

Price list - Home Made Carrot Cake in San Juan CityEven if their prices were ‘reasonable’, we had no reason to buy a whole cake from them. So we just bought two slices, for the sole purpose of tasting them. Looking at the menu for the first time, I though that a whole ‘carrot cake walnut’ was just Php 185 but obviously I have misread it if I were to pay Php 65 a slice. And speaking of the slice, it was smaller than what I’ve expected, but we still bought some because it was embarrassing to setp out empty-handed. So the verdict: I might not return there for a long time but it was nice to have finally satisfied my curiosity after almost two decades. =D

Zombie movie on Valentine’s night

Mon and I were both on halfday leave in the office for Valentine’s Day and it was a sudden decision as well. For today, I wanted a Valentine-related outfit, but alas, I can’t bear to wear anything red nor too dressy. The best thing I can put on, then, was this polo shirt with a black heart on the chest. I also wore this pair of YSL sneakers for the first time. =D

Maroon cardigan, gray Play by Comme des Garcons Black Heart polo shirt, blue L.O.G.G. by H&M skinny pants, Yves Saint Laurent multicolor high-top sneakers, vintage Mulberry wexford briefcase messenger bag

From the office, we just walked to Greenbelt 3 because it was very difficult to get a cab. We had no choice because we still have to claim our tickets for the movie and waiting for an elusive cab to come would definitely eat up our precious time. It was a nice night to walk anyway, because it was quite windy.

Arriving in the Greenbelt area, we immediately noticed how crowded the whole place was. It was dofficult to walk from one place to another, and all restaurants were brimming with people eating and queuing for an available table. Yikes. We had to get our movie tickets first and good thing we have already reserved the night before because if we were to get the tickets right there and then, we’d end up sitting separately or not at all.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Greenbelt 3

The rare occasion when he had his picture taken, with his face full on

As mentioned, every restaurant in the area was full, and the only place available where we can eat was in Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Greenbelt 5. We had no extra time to spare waiting because we had less than 40 minutes before the movie started from the time we got the tickets. We immediately ordered for the most possibly-satisfying food they have on the menu and not all of them were even available. Well, we had little time to eat anyway, even if it was our quickest Valentine’s dinner ever. LOL

The only pasta available that night - Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Greenbelt 3

Blueberry cheesecake - Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Greenbelt 3

The quickest Valentine's dinner we ever had - Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Greenbelt 3

We barely finished our food, when we found ourselves walking back to Greenbelt 3 for our 8:35 PM movie. We chose ‘Warm Bodies‘, as it was what we were supposed to watch instead of ‘Mama‘ last Saturday. I can’t even remember seeing the trailer of the movie before, but all I know was it features Nicholas Hoult (who played Beast in ‘X-Men: First Class‘ and a favorite model of Tom Ford, and even starred in the latter’s first ever film ‘A Single Man‘ — and yeah, he is also Jennifer Lawrence’s boyfriend).

It was tagged as a “paranormal, romantic zombie comedy’, which was a peculiar but very apt description of what we saw on screen. It was told in the point of view of R (Nicholas Hoult), which after a usual hunting spree with a pack of zombies, fell in love with the human Julie (Teresa Palmer), who was also out with a bunch of humans including her boyfriend Perry (Dave Franco) and bestfriend Nora (Analeigh Tipton) to forage for medical supplies. The zombie pack attacked the group and R ended up eating the brains of Perry, which eventually reinforced his attraction towards Julie.

I particularly had a good time hearing the hilarious timing of John Waite’s ‘Missing You‘ played on vinyl, during the key moments of the film, particularly when R first laid his eyes on Julie. I knew the song very well because Tina Turner’s version was once use by my old squad as music in one of the most amazing choreography I have ever seen. Anyway, the movie really had lots of funny moments, particularly when Julie was pretending to be a zombie and was acting a bit too much, perhaps based on a canned knowledge of how zombies move. LOL It was also good to see Analeigh in the movie. She was my favorite contestant in Cycle 11 of ANTM, and I was really heartbroken when she got eliminated. I did not realize how tall she really is, not until this movie, because she looked quite small next to the other contestants and Nigel and Ms. Jay. Analeigh has been doing good in her movie career, and her screen time in this movie was well spent. Excellent comedic timing and she was really hilarious in every scene that she was in. Julie, who I first thought to be a blonde and can-actually-act version of Kristen Stewart, looked very familiar. Searching Google after the movie, I was right in guessing that she was the love interest of the protagonist in ‘The Sorcerer’s Apprentice‘.

Tickets for the 'Warm Bodies' movie

After the movie, we went to another Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Greenbelt 3 to have a quick snack and a drink of coffee (Mon opted for a non-caffeine drink). I was surprisingly full from our quick dinner and I even had to push myself to eat this cookie and biscotti. LOL At almost 11:00 PM, the place was still bustling with people but we were lucky to get good seats inside, near the window.

Quick drink and a quick snack - Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Greenbelt 3

Black heart on Valentine's - gray Play by Comme des Garcons Black Heart polo shirt

When we were about to go home, we passed by the row of high-end stores and I was delighted to see Prada’s display window, with Sasha Pivovarova in it. Last October 2012, I expressed my delight to see the new mother doing fashion work again.

Sasha Pivovarova for Resort 2013 on the display window of Prada Greenbelt 3

I’m not a fan of flowers and Mon was fully aware of that. Instead, he gave me this stuffed heart which I will be bringing to the office with me. Happy Valentine’s Mon and thanks for the sweets as well! =D

Chocolates and a stuffed heart from Mon

From YSL, with love!

Today is Valentine’s Day and the first thing I did before going home afterwork was to buy flowers for my mother and sister. In front of the Immaculation Conception Church in Marikina, there were already several rows of flower vendors selling single long-stemmed roses, up to bouquets with elaborate presentations. I began haggling for the price to be lowered and I finally reached an agreement with one of the vendors when I mentioned I’d be getting two. My mother and sister were very happy this morning when they saw the roses.

Three roses for my mother and sister on Valentine's Day

Last Friday, I was watching a pair of shoes on Ebay.ph and I was hoping I could snipe bid on it — a pair of black Lanvin suede with patent toe sneakers.  But for whatever reason, I completely forgot about the auction ending last Monday evening and I was really heartbroken on not being able to at least take a shot in bidding for it.

A pair of Lanvin suede and patent sneakers

(Photo from the Ebay.ph seller)

So yesterday, I decided on a whim to browse auctions in Sulit.com.ph. I was not particularly looking for a particular item, as it was just an online window shopping.

And then I saw a pair of Yves Saint Laurent sneakers, listed by a seller from Binondo. Unfortunately, it was already reserved for another buyer and it was clearly not my lucky day. But I still asked the seller via text message if the item was still available and he replied within a few minutes.

He said that it was already reserved to a buyer from Bacolod but he was still not able to pay. I immediately jumped on the opportunity and eventually secured the pair of sneakers! My apologies to you, the supposed-buyer for whatever inconvenience I might have caused you in getting the pair. It was still the call of the seller and I hope you get to find another pair soon. =/

I met up with the seller and it did not took very long for our transaction to finish. In the vernacular, we call that kaliwaan and it was done in less than a minute.

I was really anxious of the size because looking at its online photos, the size might be larger from what I normally wear. The other pair of YSL  sneakers I currently have was already about half-a-size bigger, which was okay. But the one above might be about a size and half bigger and may be a bit umanageable.

But surprisingly, the sneakers fit nicely when I tried it on, and it was just about a size bigger. Thank goodness!

The sneakers were still in good condition, with no rips or tears in any of the leather and canvas parts. But of course, suede tends to react differently towards humidity and it is showing some signs of ‘reaction’, but it was still nevertheless gorgeous.

A box of tikoy from the online seller

As an added bonus, he even gave me a box of tikoy! Still a Happy Chinese New Year to me! That was very gracious of him. =D

(Photo from Highsnobiety.com)

The curious me opened Google and tried searching more info about the shoes. After several searches, I was able to find out that these were the Spring/Summer collection of five years ago and Highsnobiety.com even did an article about them here from way back in March 2009.

I’m beginning to think that my luck may not lie in raffle draws, or anything that requires waiting for an opportunity to come, rather than working hard in painstakingly combing online auctions and persuading people for a particular item. I’m not that unlucky, then.

My lucky nephew

Earlier, our company had a Family Day and I tagged along my nephew. Mon, on the other hand, brought his mom and youngest sister with him, Anne. It would normally be a Halloween Party but they decided to shake things up a little and make it a different event. The last time JB and Anne saw each other was two years ago, also on our company’s Halloween event where my nephew dressed up as Wilderness Explorer Russell from Disney’s ‘UP’, while Anne went Hawaiian for ‘Lilo & Stitch’.

Halloween Party two years ago - Anne and JB doing their best Disney

I have to admit, I missed making a costume for my nephew, especially on how I have painstakingly made and researched every little detail on that Russell outfit:

DIY-Russell from Disney's UP badges sash - Halloween costume

Russell 'UP' Halloween Costume - detailed with badges

But one good thing that this lack of costume brought to me was the less opportunity to stress over what he would wear. It was just come-as-you-are and leave-your-kids-with us, so Mon and I were able to just go around the area, while the kids do their stuff.

The kids are all grown up now - JB and Anne two years after

What can you do with an orange dot (or maybe circle)?

They had several activities: tour of all the work areas, safety demonstration, singing and arts. They were able to get lots of candies and freebies, but compared to the previous years, a Halloween party would still be better.

Obligatory picture with "The Wall" - Gray Play by Comme des Garçons shirt, Bench jeans, white Yves Saint Laurent  'Y' patent sneakers and Louis Vuitton Montsouris GM backpack , and my nephew using my Comme des Garçons  Homme Plus Canvas Tote as his goodie bag

Mon with his Mon and little sister

They were to raffle off prizes and I was hoping that my nephew’s name gets picked for the tickets to the Mind Museum. But ‘lo and behold! He was called as second to the last person for the prize! I was really happy because I’ve been wanting to go to the Mind Museum in Taguig City because it is supposedly a kick-ass science museum! We now have to pay just for two people but it wasn’t bad at all. =D

My lucky nephew claiming his prize

The Mind Museum at Taguig tickets errrr.... technically gift cards

I was never lucky with raffles or games of luck since I was a kid. There was even an instance during a Christmas paryt of a church where they gave out prizes to everyone as long as there were gifts on the table. Unlucky me had to be the last name in the fish bowl and there were no more prizes left. That cemented my reputation of being unfortunate to games of luck. Since then, I’ve never been a believer of luck but hard work. LOL Good thing he did not inherit my raffle luck but my older brother’s. When we were kids and up until now, he’d get picked in raffles to win a complete set of G.I. Joe toys, house appliances and even an iPad. Ugh.

I don't know why my nephew kept on doing this pose - Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill

Now we have to schedule a date to visit the museum. Their website states that kids below two feet have free admission. I was under the impression that my niece, Brie, was still under two feet. But alas! She’s almost three feet! The kids are really growing up so fast and I feel old. We will most probably visit the museum by the first or second week of November. =D