Friday, March 30, 2012

Have A Super Fun Saturday at the I LOVE BEAUTY Workshop

I was supposed to post this earlier today but my internet conked out! Hopefully, some of you will still be able to take advantage of this great workshop.


Happy end of week everyone! I'm pretty sure you're all looking forward to the upcoming week of no work, rest, and reflection. And for some, that much anticipated mini break may have even started. If you're looking for a productive way to spend your Saturday, why not join Studio SnR's I LOVE BEAUTY Workshop, tomorrow, March 31, from 1:30-5pm. 

The I LOVE BEAUTY is the first of a series of workshops crafted with the objective of helping you learn all about prettifying yourself. Tomorrow's workshop will be sponsored by Maybelline and Garnier, so expect expert tips from the Maybelline Philippines Makeup Team led by Professional Makeup Artists' Archie Tolentino, Jim Ros, and Harold Santos. Beauty blogger Nikki Tiu, of Ask Me What's will also be there, as well as the Garnier Team to answer all your questions about beauty, blogging, and industry trade secrets. 

It's only P2,000/pax for the 3.5 hour beauty sesh, plus you'll get to take home P1,500 worth of Garnier, Maybelline and Studio SnR products. Good deal right? And did I mention you'll also be served free Serenitea drinks? YUM!

I had wanted to go but I have a wedding to attend, booo. But you can still register for it! Better hurry as there are only four more slots left. Register online, visit the Studio SnR Facebook page, or tweet @StudioSnRph to secure your spot. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Finders Keepers

When I moved to New York, I was poorita. I was starting to build a life and a home from scratch, I barely had enough funds, and NY is a friggin' expensive city. Good thing I had friends who took me under their wings and helped me out. Special mention goes to good friend and jewelry designer Happy David, my thrifty partner-in-crime. Happy and I would always call each other whenever there were any deals to be had, whether it was $20 Broadway tickets on sale in school that you had to line up for hours in advance, free breakfast for commuters, or an opportunity to have free coffee, and take home the delicious cookies that FIT serves. It's only fitting that, on my first week, Happy invited me to sleep over for a few days so she could show me around the city, and my soon-to-be-school (she was on her last semester of Jewelry Design also at the Fashion Institute of Technology). On one of those school tours, we chanced upon a huge garbage bin overflowing with discarded art, rejects from the art students who took classes on that floor. Never ones to miss a good freebie, Happy and I gleefully rummaged through the heaping pile, pulling out one canvas after the other until we finally had to reign ourselves in after realizing we couldn't possibly carry everything home!

My beautiful find

Most people wouldn't even give this pile a second glance

But Happy makes a beeline for it and immediately finds an eye-catching piece of art
I think I was on the phone with Pat

The big tapestry, made of strips of painted canvas

But carry them home we did! Our total loot was four big canvas paintings and a ginormous canvas tapestry that was so heavy, it felt like lugging around a living room carpet. We walked up Seventh Avenue that day, taking great pains to avoid sideswiping fellow pedestrians, then hopped on a bus to the nearest subway. Even the bus ride was a bit of a nightmare as the canvases took up a lot of space and embarking and disembarking was no mean feat. I took home two paintings that day, and had to walk an additional 20 minutes from the subway to my apartment. Oh and did I mention it was the dead of winter? As Happy succinctly said when she saw these photos, we looked like bag ladies!

Waiting for the M16 bus

Posing near Madison Square Garden

Loaded and ready to go!

My other take home. I love the blue swirls.

This is the story behind my favorite piece of art. Today it hangs on the wall above our bed, contrasting nicely against the teal blue walls of our bedroom. I kept it when we moved apartments in Brooklyn (the other one got left behind), occupying a prominent spot in our new riverside Williamsburg rental. I packed it up nice and tight in bubble wrap so it could travel safely to Manila when we moved again. And I believe I'll still be transporting it across oceans if and when we move again. It's not that it's commercially valuable—I don't even know who made it as it has no signature. I was originally attracted to it because I loved the soothing swirls of purples and blues that remind me of mountains and oceans. I think my boyfriend doesn't really understand it but he humors me because he knows I like it. But now, whenever I look at that painting, I am reminded of my time in New York, of the struggle to get there, of the craziness of living there, and of all the happy, sad, wacky, and fond memories I have of that place. There's treasure in trash, they say. And this particular piece is priceless. 

The painting in our Williamsburg apartment. That's me in my favorite spot to work and study. Grabbed this from my friend, Mariel's blog, NY Minute Now.  
Finally, home.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Are You A Roxy Girl? (If You Are, You'll Win $5,000, Two Amazing Trips, and More!)

Roxy, the ubiquitous lifestyle brand that takes it roots from surfer culture, is "on the hunt for  the most intriguing, fun, engaging, daring, and media-savvy girls in the world to experience a life-changing adventure." They're looking for THE girl to be the face and voice of Roxy.  They want THREE Roxy Girls, to be exact. 

And what exactly is a Roxy Girl?  “Roxy girls are unmatched. Full of energy and a genuine love for the world, we radiate optimism and warmth. We are kind-hearted, generous, and love to have fun. We dream big. We are always up for a challenge and down for a good adventure. We dare to be more. Do you?”

Maki-join na!
If you're answer is a resounding "YES!", then head on over to and submit 2 or 3 photos and a short 150-word (max) essay, or a short video telling describing what makes you a Roxy Girl. The contest is open to all Filipinas between the ages of 18 and 28 who wish to experience  once-in-a lifetime opportunity to live the life of a Roxy girl. Applications must be submitted by April 23, 2012. Contest ends June 15th, 2012, when Roxy will announce the three chosen girls. The fans (you!) and the Roxy judging panel will ultimately select the three winners. The Roxy judging panel consists of one Roxy marketing official per region and one Roxy Pro Surfer.

If being singled out as a Roxy Girl isn't exciting enough, wait till you find out what other awesome prizes await the winners:

Wouldn't you just love to be on that (plastic) couch?
  • A trip to Biarritz, France for the Roxy Pro Surf Competition (departing on July 9, 2012 and returning on July 16, 2012). Airfare and hotel accommodations included
  • Meet the Roxy pro athletes
  • Receive up to $5,000 USD
  • Be outfitted in head-to-toe Roxy products
  • Host Roxy video segments as be a face and voice for Roxy
  • Learn to surf in some of the best waves in the world
  • Get to know the Roxy Design Team
  • Jet set on a surprise trip #2 (it's amazing!) – airfare and hotel accommodations included

Learn more about being a Roxy Girl by visiting and

I can't join (booo!), but I will vicariously through you! Go Roxy Girls!
In case you're wondering, no, you don't need to be a surfer to join. According to Holly Monkman, Marketing Executive for SEA, “What is most important in being the ideal candidate is your spirit and attitude.  I suggest that the girls take a look at our website and our Facebook pages to view the photos and videos of our Roxy girls in order to get the real feeling of what the life of a Roxy girl is all about."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Daily Wear: Blush

Lately, I noticed I've been wearing a lot of rosy/blush/nude tones from my closet.

Here's what I wore to my mini talk for the Watson's Joys of Summer Event in MOA a few weeks ago. The top is from Topshop, bought during one of their winning "Buy One Take One" sales, where the BOTO items are already marked down to 50%, sometimes 70% off. Even though the selections are already limited at this point,  I always take the time to peruse the sale rack because you never know what you'll find (like this sequined top!). I went monochromatic that day, pairing the top with a similarly hued denim pant from Zara, and my lovely little pearl collar necklace, DIYd by my sister, Nina. 

Sneaky outfit shot I had to take inside a dressing room because I forgot to have a proper photo taken, haha! Collar by my sister Nina. Topshop top. Zara pants. Mink Pink (bought in Australia) tan belt. Celine pumps (nope, not the designer label.  Yung local brand! Very old pair that survived the test of time). Martina-Martina tiger cuff and disco ball bead bracelet. H&M leather bracelet.

Me with Kat, who got in touch with me for the event

I have also been crushing on pointy pumps, so much more than the stumpy toed platform heels that have been so popular lately. I don't know, maybe it's me getting older, but I find that I can't quite pull them off anymore. But with pointy toes come the pinching pain of cramped feet. Thus, after an entire afternoon of standing, my feet were dying. Good thing SM Department Store was near. I spotted these cute nude sandals on sale for P500 and bought them immediately. I've been wearing my Renegade Folk sandals so much that they need a break, and this SM pair is the perfect substitute.

The sandals zip up at the back so they're easy to wear.

And they still went well with my outfit!

On another day of meetings and errands, I wore a simple silk button down with lace shorts in a dusky pink hue. The shirt I bought for only 99c, a beloved item from my stash of tops purchased at an accidentally discovered 99c Brooklyn store (side story: the store was near the Transit Adjudication Bureau office, where I had to go to contest a subway fare evasion ticket. Finding that store was the only good thing about that day!). I actually have two of these shirts bought at the same place, from different brands but they look almost the same. I say you can never have enough of silk button-downs!

99c silk shirt. Forever 21 lace shorts. SM Department Store sandals. Sunnies bought in Australia. 

Assorted H&M bead bracelets, and leather band. Muses and Lovers friendship bracelet. Flower enamel bracelet from an East Village thrift store. 

When I went to Australia, I made a promise to buy something made by a local designer. This stannard inc quartz and brass neckpiece bought at the Paddington Markets in Sydney is the result of that promise.  I even got to meet the designer and owner, Claire, who was manning her stall that day. I like to wear it when I want something understated. And I like to fiddle with the stone. Quartz is said to be "a power stone...enhance(s) energy and thoughts, and purifies the spiritual, mental, and physical."

Another Aussie buy: Saba drawstring bag. I've been using this nearly everyday!

SM sandals again (don't mind my ugat!)

Reading this post, I realized I haven't blogged about my Australia trip! Will do so sometime so stay tuned! In the meantime, I'll be blogging about an exciting beauty workshop tomorrow so don't forget to check back!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cheapo Buy: The Landmark Tops

I'm a big fan of department stores. It mimics the "thrill of the hunt" you get when rummaging through an ukay-ukay , but in a slightly more organized setting. The Landmark remains a favorite for several reasons. One, its prices are slightly cheaper compared to some of the highly advertised department stores right now (more marketing = more expenses leading to more peso digits on the tag). Two, they often sell the same styles that you see being sold at bazaar and online shops (read: Bangkok/China sourced items) at a significantly lower price. And three, if you are patient enough and really take the time to go around the entire place, you can find best buys in different departments. I've bought Ikea kitchen towels, expensive-looking clear glass vases, even exercise equipment from The Landmark. Winner talaga

A recent sojourn to The Landmark for a quick look around became a two-hour long layover when I started spotting a lot of really cute clothes. First, I was only going to try three pieces. But when I went around again, I saw another dress, then another top, and then another, and another, until, goodness me, I ended up lugging almost 20 pieces of clothing to the dressing room! I wanted a lot of things, but some were either too small (i.e. a dress with a waistline that was up to my under bust) or poorly made. In the end, I managed to restrain myself and only bought two tops, for about P400 each.

This printed loose top is my favorite. It's not something I would normally go for, but it reminded me a little of the Marni x H&M collab pieces, maybe because of its somber color and the print. Here's how I wore it three different ways:

To run errands, wore it with shorts and loafers. Shorts, Mango. Satchel, Warehouse. Loafers, bought at Amarcord sale in Brooklyn (you read about it here!)

Later that day, switched the shorts for pants to watch a PBA game. I did a little print-on-print styling courtesy of my leopard-print detachable collar

Flared denim, Urban Behavior (bought on sale for CAD10). Stack-heeled loafers, Mango (wore this when I was shot for Refinery29). Detachable collar, Miss Sartorial (more styles here). Belt, Tint. Satchel, Warehouse. Pony-hair leopard cuff, and disco ball bracelet, Martina-Martina. Leather wrap bracelet, H&M.
I also wore this top when I helped style a friend's prenup shoot. Channeling Marni again with the print-on-print but had to wear the boots for comfort, making the outfit look edgier than preppy/intellectual. Turns out the boots were a smart choice as it rained during the shoot. 

Crystal necklace, bought in Paddington Market Sydney. Shorts, bought in random cheap Soho shop in NYC.  Boots, Go Jane. 

Funny, I wore the same jewelry stack as in previous outfit. These Martina-Martina pieces are still available, fyi. 
And here is the other top. Haven't worn it yet, but guessing it's going to be versatile too.

The tag reads ASOS. I'm guessing it's an overrun. This also came in a navy and a  peachy-pink color. Very cute when buttoned all the way up. 

Still thinking what to wear with this pleated top. Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Zalora Blogger Challenge + Win A P10,000 Shopping Spree!

If you've been following my Twitter and Instagram, you'll know that I was at the Zalora headquarters last Saturday for the Style Buy Blogger Challenge. Together with a handful of widely-read Philippine bloggers, we got to preview and personally testify to the super easy, and dangerously addictive experience of online shopping at Zalora

Like this photo on Zalora's Facebook page and get a chance to win a P10,000 shopping spree! I got to try on some of the goodies you can buy at Zalora. Wearing a Virus necklace, Proudrace fishtail dress (which everyone also loved), and Wade raffia peep-toe pumps. Bongga talaga ng dress!

At the Z loft, we got to meet, greet and hang out with some of the Zalora team. I have to say they're quite a fun bunch! And though I can only imagine the kind of stress they're under, working long hours to ensure they have the best site and service possible, I get the feeling they all enjoy what they're doing. As in they still have the energy to dance to the lively pop music playing at the event, even though it was a Saturday night at work! With this kind of dedication, it's no wonder that the buzz surrounding Zalora has been growing sure and steady. And what's not to love? Imagine three hour delivery within Metro Manila. THREE HOURS. Crazy right? Like you just ordered McDonald's for lunch. And if you don't have a credit card, no problem. You can just pay with cash upon delivery of your order. What I really admire is their dedicated customer service hotline, which means you can contact them via phone, email or chat anytime from 7am to 1am. Trust me, Zalora will change the face of Philippine shopping. 

Here are some snaps from that fun Saturday shopping night:

Paulo Campos III, Zalora co-founder and managing director, tells us why Zalora is all that

Marketing Manager Arianne, and buyers Mark and Kat (who incidentally, is co-owner of Ylla shoes!)
Spotted: a Martina-Martina piece on Aissa of Drowning Equilibriums. Yay!

This was supposed to be a funny face shot (I obviously missed the cue!)

I bought these Wade raffia peep-toe pumps with my Zalora credits. And to think I actually tried them on a few days ago. Uuuy, meant to be!

Met Alyssa Lapid, who sat across from me. She bought Zoo's Wonder Woman tee, which I also loved!

Also bought this futuristic Gold Dot clutch, another popular item. Two other bloggers got the same clutch. It's bigger than I thought it would be, which makes me like it even more! 

The clutch went so well with my entire outfit that I ended up switching my leather clutch for this. Excuse the wayward strand of hair poking out!  Outfit credits: Top; black cuff, Mango. Dress, Joel Escober (you've seen this on my wedding post—in fairness, it's quite versatile!). Shoes, Charles and Keith. Studded leather bracelet and ring, bought at a bazaar. Gem elastic bracelet, The Landmark.

 So have you shopped Zalora yet? Tell me what you think!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Twittering Zalora

So many news to share that I will do the crass thing and use bullet points to keep it short, sweet, and direct.

Here goes...

  • I'm finally on Twitter! Follow me @katdyfinds and let's get tweeting. Be patient with me though as I'm new at this and still have a lot to learn! So maybe you can start by tweeting me Twitter tips (that's a tongue twister right there!).
  • And I'm also on Instagram! Username: kinatkat. Here is where I'll be more diligent in posting all my little amazing discoveries, be it in food, fashion, and fun. Be prepared to get a little peek into my daily life as well. If you don't have an Instagram account, you can still view my photos over at Web.stagram, which allows you online access to my Instagram.
Add me on Instagram and find out about what I'm currently loving, like these fresh pastel bracelets from Martina-Martina.
  • And most exciting of all, a new online shopping destination for everyone: Zalora! Zalora dubs itself as "Philippines' Leading Online Fashion Shopping Site For Fashion, Clothing, And Shoes." Believe me, this site will give our beloved department stores (and even malls) a run for their money. They're making it easy for Filipinos to love shopping online, and who wouldn't? They offer free shipping and returns nationwide, and, get this, three hour delivery within Metro Manila. I don't know how they'll manage to do it with the city's incredible traffic, but I don't doubt they can deliver. Plus, they accept most payment options, even cash on delivery. That's pretty impressive. 
My new favorite site to shop, Zalora!

On Saturday, I'll be part of Zalora's Style Buy Challenge, and my mission begins today. But I need you to help me—help me create my perfect Zalora Shopping Wishlist in two simple steps:

1) Follow @ZALORAPH on Twitter. 

2) Browse Zalora for your favorite items, and then let me know about it. Tag my Twitter name @katdyfinds alongside @ZALORAPH and then add the link of your fave product that you want on my wishlist. 

I've already found a number of items that I'm hoping to score...

I love these Wade raffia platform sandals. So very S/S 2012! I actually tried them on last Sunday.  If you like it too, tweet @katdyfinds @zaloraph

Pastel denim is a big trend for summer. Paige has this pretty peach cropped pants that my lower half is coveting.

I'd wear this lacy peekaboo number from Jorge with a bright colored slip to give it an edge. 
And how about a vampy red dress to heat things up? This Proudrace train dress manages to combine simplicity and drama seamlessly. I'd definitely pack this on a trip!

You all know I love anything gold, but what I really love about this Gold Dot clutch is the clever closure that resembles a screw. 

What's on your Zalora Wishlist? I want to know. Tweet it to me!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

What Are You Doing Today?

If you have nothing better to do, and happen to be in the Manila area, do drop by Mall of Asia for Watson's Sun Up to Sun Down Joys of Summer Event. I'll be giving talks on the top fashion and beauty trends for Spring/Summer 2012, as well as on tips on packing for your favorite destinations. It's going to be short and sweet, and you can bug me afterwards! It's at 2pm, and to be quite honest, I don't know exactly where it is, but I'm guessing it's at the main open area overlooking the bay, that's right smack in the middle of the entire mall.

What has to be my favorite spring/summer trend: Pastels! (Images courtesy of
I'd love to see you there! Happy Saturday!
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