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The Mean Reds and Friends as Tiffany’s

9 Aug

Growing up, I had my fair share of advice from adults and self-help books to be judicious in finding company. “Be careful choosing your friends,” a particular book said, “you become who they are.”

With time I came to realize that friendship, as with any relationship worth its while, becomes less about enabling circumstances and more about the choices we make to stay connected. This becomes especially true when circumstances – for reasons geographical, professional, spatial, or if you want to go all Bradbury or Spielberg about it, dimensional – make togetherness anywhere from a notch to an eon more difficult. Ultimately, the desire to connect — or re-connect — is a commitment.

Nineteen years ago, I was born on the last week of July in the midst of a thunderstorm. Every birthday since, it had been a challenge to invite people to celebrate with. Varying degrees of rain were constant gatecrashers at my parties, after all. But this July 29 was a different story, with some of those I hold dearest conspiring for a surprise get-together.

The tapestries of each friendship are as diverse as the people themselves, but a single thread binds them together. They are among the first people I could, would and do turn to when I get a bad case of what Audrey Hepburn (as Holly Golightly) called the “mean reds”.

My birthday outfit was inspired by the iconic “wild thing” Miss Golightly.

The Taylor black brocade dress (P250) is from Red Tomato. Black leather platforms are by Gibi. Layered teardrops choker (P150) is a tiangge find, and the necklace used as a hair accessory is a birthday gift.

Here’s one of my favorite scenes from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, where Holly explains the mean reds to her writer-neighbor Paul Varjak:

Holly: Poor cat! Poor slob! Poor slob without a name! The way I see it I haven’t got the right to give him one. We don’t belong to each other. We just took up one day by the river. I don’t want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I’m not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It’s like Tiffany’s. 

Paul: Tiffany’s? You mean the jewelry store. 

Holly: That’s right. I’m just CRAZY about Tiffany’s! Listen, you know those days when you get the mean reds? 

Paul: The mean reds, you mean like the blues? 

Holly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat and maybe it’s been raining too long, you’re just sad that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling? 

Paul: Sure. 

Holly: Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name! 

In another scene, Holly said, “Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.” I may not see these lovelies all the time, but everyday I’m grateful for the likes of them, who make me feel like Tiffany’s — and eons, eons better.

via Tumblr http://bargainmuse.tumblr.com/post/29045759294

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Bargain musings

25 Jul

In a matter of days, I’ll be blowing 19 candles on what would hopefully be a dark chocolate and cherry cake. In a matter of months, I’ll be among the latest sunflower children of UP Diliman, shifting the sablay from the left to the right shoulder in parting with my alma mater, and in anticipation for what awaits outside it.

The past few weeks marked the last of many firsts, and the first of many lasts. This Bargain Muse venture is among my firsts, and I hope to make it last for as long as I can.

The idea for this blog came to me one day on a trip to my favorite wonderland, an ukay-ukay. My browser has seen its fair share of fashion blogs, most of which feature branded clothes or accessories equivalent to anywhere from 1 to 15 unit/s of my tuition. Not that there’s anything inherently bad about that. Everyone’s free to spend their resources the way they want to, after all.

For my own part, I believe spending isn’t a pre-requisite to a diverse wardrobe. Each article of clothing is an investment – just as there are costly options, there are also those to be had at a much cheaper price. And as I’ve discovered time and time again, relatively lower prices do not have to equate to tacky designs or poor quality.

Bargain Muse celebrates this affordable ingenuity. There is value (and unparalleled thrill!) in getting not just more, but the mostest bang for your buck. This blog is an account of the little treasures I find amid yard sales, stuffy thrift stores and unkempt cardboard boxes – clothes and trinkets that lay still on their racks, begging to be rescued from their neon plastic hangers.

At the very most, I hope to encourage others to explore the infinite possibilities of bargain shopping. At the very least, I hope to meet others who share similar interests, particularly the idea that one need not shell out too much to dress presentably.

Cheers!

Fill in the blanks

23 Mar

Now serving at Ping Ping's Native Lechon and Restaurant in La Loma, Quezon City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re choosy about ambiance, you may deem the interiors in want of repair. But if bite for your buck is your utmost priority, you’ll never go wrong with Ping Ping’s. Meals are at P60 to P90 — there’s a wide range of viands to choose from and the servings are quite hefty for the price range.  What’s more, this restaurant has the most to-die-for lengua at the most affordable price.  ❤

 

10 Unique 2012 Planners under P600

13 Dec

The last of 2011 is upon us. In a matter of weeks, the past 365 days will be little more than a collage of MS Word documents, pictures, conversations, text messages and facebook statuses, all suspended in the recesses of our memories. Less than a month shy of January 1, many have made headway in their search for a companion throughout the coming year (and no, I don’t mean the romantic kind). If you haven’t committed to a particular 2012 planner yet, here are 10 one-of-a-kind candidates for your consideration (click on the planner titles to check out the sellers’ original posts):

1. Design Your Life Planner

Photo from the Design Your Life Planner Facebook page.

Best for: the highlighter freak

Can’t get enough of Stabilo brights? Light up your 2012 with this zany fluorescent planner! The sisters behind C & S Designs have been producing their own planners since 2008. This year’s offering boasts of a unique design for each month and comes with stickers, a compartment for notes and a space for 3R pictures.

Price: P530, with free shipping nationwide

How and where to buy: Fill out the order form here. For more information, check out the Design Your Life Planner on Facebook.

2. Awesome Planner

Photo from the Awesome Planner Facebook page.

Best for: the adventurous foodie

From the man behind the food and trek blog Our Awesome Planet comes a planner that doubles as your next road trip companion. Choose from 12 local destinations to try each month. Fill out the vision board, and ditch the gullible tourist act by stocking up on insider traveling tips. As a bonus, challenge yourself to try the 100 tried-and-tested restos that made it to the OAP shortlist.

Price: P588, plus P100 for delivery anywhere in the Philippines

How and where to buy: Click the image for details or check out the Awesome Planner on Facebook.

3. Gawad Kalinga Planner

Photo from the Gawad Kalinga Facebook page.

Best for: the catalyst for social change

Planners come and go, but the drive to make a difference chooses neither time nor place. Celebrate the transformative power of community involvement 366 days a year with the Gawad Kalinga planner, jotting down your visions (and actions!) for a brighterPhilippinesin its ample weekly spreads.

Price: P320

How and where to buy: E-mail info@gk1world.com or check out Gawad Kalinga on Facebook

4. Oh Snap! Handy Dandy Planner

Photo from the Team Oh Snap! Multiply page.

Best for: the doodler

This planner is made for people who’d rather take things in their own hands. Take your stock of colorful pens – or your good old black ballpoint if you’re minimalist like that – and fill in the blank spaces with your own doodles and scribbles. Besides a variety of useful lists, tabs and freenote pages, the Oh Snap! planner comes in three delectable designs: watermelon, fish maki and McDo fries.

Price: P350

How and where to buy: Fill out the order form here. For more info, check out Team Oh Snap! on Facebook and Multiply.

5. Clone Stamp 2012 Lomo Planner

Photo from the Clone Stamp Facebook page.

Best for: the shutterbug

They say life is like photography – we use the negatives to develop. Whether or not you’re into analog or lomo, capture the highlights of your 2012 with the Clone Stamp planner. The brainchild of two Fine Arts students from UP Diliman, the planner features inside pages in pastel pink and a pocket for your knick-knacks.

Price: P380

How and where to buy: Fill out the order form here. For more info, check out Clone Stamp on Facebook.

6. The Es-KWELA-han Project 2012 Planner

Photo from the Es-KWELA-Han Project Facebook page.

Best for: the student with an A+ sense of humor

Turn your school day from a blah to a blast with a planner especially designed for the Gtec-grasping, notebook-toting, non-taxpaying crowd. When the going gets tough and Hell Week rears its ugly head, keep your cool with the planner’s hefty supply of jokes, pick-up lines and trivia.

Price: P300

How and where to buy: Contact Carlo (09064802944), or Rosalie (09058525428 / 09467507010 / 09222391178) for orders. For more info, check out the Es-KWELA-han Project on Facebook.

7. Lego Planner

Photo from the Pretty in Fairness Multiply page.

Best for: the child-at-heart

Make each day a touch more playful with this nifty lego-inspired organizer. Let your inner child loose all year round as this neat looker keeps your milestones and building blocks in check for a solid, colorful 2012.

Price: P450

How and where to buy: Click the link above for orders. For more info, check out Pretty In Fairness on Multiply.

8. The Last Planner You’ll Ever Have

Photo from The Last Planner You'll Ever Have 2012 Facebook page.

Best for: the deadline afficionado

Many people laugh off the Mayan prediction and look forward to debunking it by partying on December 22, 2012. But there’s always that one person who laughs a couple of seconds later than everyone else, mentally calculating the days left to check off the items in his/her bucket list. Assuage his/her/your fear of the unknown with the Last Planner’s tongue-in-cheek predictions of the world’s demise. Whether or not 2012 is the year of reckoning, nothing beats a go-getter carpe diem attitude– and a planner that imbibes such – to shoo the doomsday blues away.

Price: P375

How and where to buy: Fill out the order form here. For more info, check out The Last Planner You’ll ever have on Facebook.

9. Moonleaf Planner

Photo from the Moonleaf Tea Shop Facebook page.

Best for: the milk tea addict

Crazy for Moonleaf? Then this planner will be just your cup of tea. All-out fanaTEAcs can get their fix 24/7 with the planner that launched a thousand tweets. Feast your eyes on the trademark Moonleaf aesthetic with its clean lines and minimalist black, white and green palette. The planner comes with discount coupons, including one that entitles you to a free drink on your birthday and another on Moonleaf’s anniversary.

Price: P300 for the white cover, P450 for the black

How and where to get it: Available in all Moonleaf branches. For more info, check out Moonleaf Tea Shop on Facebook and Twitter.

10. The Book of Ten

Photo from the Wanderlust Finds Multiply page.

Best for: the person who doesn’t believe in planners

Making schedules and keeping records of daily events isn’t for everyone. The more spontaneous are inclined to veer away from routine, and may find updating a planner too much of a chore. The Book of Ten may just be your best bet if you’re more into the big picture than the small details. Featuring 10 lists that pertain to different facets of one’s persona, this “life planner” espouses the bare essentials, daring you to push limits and to achieve more, no matter what day, month or year.

Price: P390

How and where to get it: Check out Wanderlust Finds on Multiply.

Hook the book: A guide to bargain bookhunting (Part 1)

28 Dec

For many bookworms, reading is relaxing – but the search for cheap, high-quality books can be anything else but. This coming New Year, bibliophiles all over the metro (and the world!) will be wishing for more time and resources to indulge in their favorite pastime. Until then, here are some tips to glean more books for your buck:

  1. Have a mental list of books you want to own. However, don’t expect to find everything in one go, or even at all. The key – and the fun! – is in scouring the shelves thoroughly. The best bargains are often in the lowest shelves, so be ready to rough it if you’re in for a steal. You wouldn’t want to be in heels and a mini skirt when you balance on a stool or sit on the floor as you flip your way through piles of books. Book hunting wouldn’t be as rewarding if you miss out on the literary gems just waiting to be found.
  2. Keep an eye out for hole-in-the-wall booksellers. For instance, the UP Diliman campus alone houses various bargain book havens: Antas along AS Walk, the bookstall within Damitan ni Antonia fronting the Post Office, and the recently-opened Booksale at the Shopping Center (SC). The stall above Zagu, also in SC, sells classics and contemporary titles, magazines and DVDs, among others. Take an adventure in Cubao X and Bookay Ukay in Maginhawa St., and make sure to check out book stands in holiday bazaars.
  3. Frequent bookstores near your area and acquaint yourself with the sales staff. Be inquisitive, but not demanding. Ask the clerks when the expected “pullout” or delivery of new stocks will be, since the prices of old stocks are likely to decrease at that same time.
  4. Unlike their high-end counterparts, bargain bookstores do not offer membership cards or privileges for regular customers. But this is where number 3 comes in handy. Once you have established yourself as a suki, you are more likely to get first dibs on their latest stocks, events, or promos. Booksale, for instance, offers a 5% discount for single receipt purchases worth P1000, and 10% for those worth P2000 or higher.
  5. It’s very tempting to buy on impulse when everything seems so affordable. Sometimes though, what we think is a good bargain is still not the best deal. When in doubt, observe the three R’s: reserve, research and reflect.  The standard two-day reservation gives you ample time to read reviews online (try shelfari.com), and evaluate whether the book(s) in your hands are really hard to find, or can be bought for less somewhere else. If, after scrutiny, you realize the book is worth your while and cash, return for it as soon as possible.
  6. Keep your finds close at all times. This is to prevent other buyers, however good their intentions may be, from eyeing your soon-to-be possessions. If you think you have too much on your hands, leave them at the counter until you’re ready to pay. Should your spirit be willing but your wallet weak, have your potential purchase reserved. Most bookstores allow reservations renewable every two days (duration negotiable if you’re a recognized suki).
  7. If you see a coveted book in the hands of another shopper, resist the urge to claw it out of their reach. Give them time and space to reach a decision, all the while keeping the book in your peripheral vision. If he/she leaves the store without it, pounce immediately. If he/she buys the book, respect that and do not, by all means, follow him/her around.
  8. Most bargain book stores have fixed prices, so haggling is usually out of the question.
  9. Not everything you can buy in a bookstore is of value, and you won’t value everything you buy. If your collection is stuck in a rut, consider engaging in a book swap. This allows you to let go of one or more books in exchange for the title(s) you really want.  Powerbooks recently held their first Power Barter, but such trading has since been practiced in the Philippines through networking sites like bookmooch.com.
  10. A book collection is a sight to behold, but books lose their purpose if they remain untouched. It’s natural to be attached to one’s collection – after all, it grows with and grows on you – but be open to sharing them with family and friends. Not everyone is a bookworm by birth, but the right book recommendation can plant a passion for reading on even the most reluctant reader. If you’re confident in your resources and skills for storage, consider investing on books and preserving your own for your future children.