Special Moments with SM Babies

31 January 2013

Victoria Beckham is my favorite celebrity mom. She's so beautiful and fit, she always sounds smart and funny in her interviews, and her kids always look happy and affectionate towards one another and their parents. Also, she's already super rich from her stint as Posh Spice but she still pursued a career in fashion because it is something she has always wanted to do. That's what you call passion. If I will be blessed with my own kid/s someday I certainly hope I will also have a husband as good-looking as David Beckham VB's grace and poise, and like her, I will definitely make sure my kid/s will be dressed comfortably without scrimping on style.

Last Monday, ARC PR held a high tea-themed event at the Manila Peninsula Conservatory to celebrate the launch of SM Babies. To mark this milestone, they put up a photo exhibit called Special Moments wherein well-known photographer Pilar Tuason shot 14 of Metro Manila's loveliest moms and their babies.  There was also a short program wherein host Issa Litton interviewed beautiful mommies Lexi Schulze, Amanda Griffin-Jacob, and Andi Eigenmann onstage. Christian Bautista was also there to serenade the guests. It is probably the biggest event that ARC has mounted and I am honored to have been a part of it. Here are some photos!

With my favorite mommy friends Sarah and Ava
With the super pretty Nicole Hernandez.
She's one of my favorite models ever since her Candy mag days and I'm just so happy I got a photo with her!
Here are the mommies and their babies:

Nicole and Jaime | Emilie and Emilia | Rosanna and Alejandro
Juana and Rosanna | Rose and Manu | Angela and Helena | Delamar and Cooper
Tin and Xavi | Maia and Matt | Marta and Tristan
Georgia and Katia | Andi and Elle | Isabel and Brooke | Grace and Alessi
Meanwhile, here are some photos with my officemates:

Manning the registration table for press and bloggers with Anne, Far, and Kira
Kira and me with Issa Litton
Marco: Thank you for coming, here's a bear for you!
To be honest, looking at all those pretty little things for the li'l ones (did you see the Kero Keroppi plushie in the first photo? SO CUTE!!!) kinda makes me a little excited to have my own bundle of joy someday. Let's see. :)

SM Babies is available in all SM Department Stores nationwide.

SM Accessories' Blush Collection and Country Glam Collection

29 January 2013

Over the past holiday season, strong, bold, and fierce were the standout trends. The stylish and sophisticated set were spotted donning eclectic prints, sleek and classy pieces, items with sophisticated elegance, and exquisite pieces with a regal touch – all by SM Accessories. 
With the introduction of Xian Lim, Georgina Wilson, Richard Gutierrez, and Anne Curtis as its newest ambassadors, SM Accessories established itself as the Philippines’ Fashion Accessories Authority. 
After the glitz and glamour of last season’s festivities, SM Accessories prepares for the delightful tropical season through its newest collection. From strong jewel colors, spring accessories take on a lighter shade with dainty details, pastels, nudes and neutrals. Soft, feminine hues shine through in the Ladies’ Blush Collection, while cream, beige and other natural colors lend an earthy feel to the Men’s Country Glam Collection
SM Accessories’ new collection lends a fresh, laidback vibe – the perfect way to cool down one’s look after the holiday festivities and warm up for the summer season. Only from SM Accessories, the Fashion Accessories Authority. 
To receive the latest news and updates about SM Accessories, like and follow their official Facebook page and Twitter account.

SM Accessories Jewelry Sale

Come to the SM Department Store Jewelry Sale, a nationwide luxury sale of real jewelry running from February 1 to 28, 2013! Don’t miss this chance to indulge and to own the finest real jewelry at super discounted prices! 
Enjoy up to 50% discount on diamonds, golds, silvers and precious gems from brands F&C, the Jeweller, and Hearts & Arrows. Get additional 10% discount when you use your SM Advantage, SM Prestige or BDO Rewards cards. Plus, get exclusive freebies with a minimum purchase of P10,000.
The SM Department Store Jewelry Sale is happening now until Feb. 28 at all Branded Accessories Department of all SM Department Store branches nationwide. See posters and print ads for details. Per DTI Permit No. 0794, series of 2013.

Week: Days and Ends

27 January 2013

Weekdays are for work and acting all mature and responsible. Since I have a carpool service that makes my daily commute so much easier, I am normally the first to arrive in the office at not later than 7:45 AM. My daily routine upon sitting on my desk include checking emails and social media accounts of our clients, reading my "morning paper" The Daily Mail (a habit from my old job I haven't outgrown yet, sorry) and sharing things I found interesting over Twitter, and working on calendars. It's a fun job that doesn't get boring because I learn something new with every webpage I visit.

Now weekends... Weekends are for me. Sometimes I make plans with friends to hang out, sometimes I spend it with family. This past weekend though has been spent enjoying two quiet days at the Yellow House (also known as my Aunt Jean's house in Malinta where she lives with my grandparents and cousins while her husband works abroad) and enjoying my cousins' and my Kindle Max's company.

Some snaps:

My cousin Jerico
I decided to make a quick visit to Oz
but got distracted by these chocolates from Villa del Conte
so I played with Baby Gab instead.
My Sunday morning consisted of Ellen Degeneres' Seriously... I'm Kidding and floral pajamas. This is the life.
Pink rose 
More playtime with the little tyke
... while enjoying The Happiness Project, a glass of Milo Overload, and Iced Gems.
I also got to organize the books I intend to sell. Here's a sneak peek.
Another busy workweek begins again tomorrow, particularly because we have a HUGE event coming up. Good thing it'll happen on Monday, better to get this thing over with, right? Here's a peek to what my officemates have been working hard on for the last two months. Wish us luck!


Meet Max.

25 January 2013

I bought my new phone because I couldn't decide what to get between a camera and a Kindle. Because I have the lowest EQ in the universe, I ended up getting a camera two weeks later.

Today, this happened. I swear it's not my fault.

Do you recognize that black box?
My Kindle 5 arrived today, and it's so efficient and thin and practical and pretty that I regret (just a little!) getting it just now.

One look and the name "Max" popped in my mind, I don't even know why.
So, everyone, meet Max.
And because I am one eager beaver, I called Fully Booked in Greenbelt to check if they have covers for sale. I guess today's my lucky day because they did have one, and it was the last piece. I went there after work and got these new "paraphernalia" for Max using my gift cards from Ayala:

Artist Series case and Clip Light, both from Verso
When I got home, this was waiting for me:

Screenplay of Before Sunrise and Before Sunset
I got it from Book Depository in anticipation of the Before Midnight movie.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is still my ultimate favorite movie, but Jesse and Celine has got to be my all-time favorite fictional couple.

I am so thankful to have a regular day-job and another job on the side that enables my love for books and the written word. Technically, I didn't spend for these  my blog did 

I am going to die surrounded by books, and maybe that won't be so bad after all.

Goodbye, last remaining shreds of my social life. It was fun while it lasted.

PS: I am going to sell most of my books to reclaim space. I've been bunking with my sister ever since I went back to live in my parents' house and I kinda miss sleeping in my own room ha ha. I'm very careful with my books and I have a LOT so I'm sure you'll find something you like. ;)

Review: Cherry Mobile Flare

23 January 2013

I finally got to sit around and work on this review after getting acquainted with my Cherry Mobile Flare and tinkering with it ever since I got it three weeks ago. As I said, I wasn't really planning on getting a new phone as I was trying to decide between getting a Kindle or a camera, but after seeing my friend's Cherry Mobile Flame and getting impressed with all the positive reviews this phone has gotten upon release, I gave in and replaced my HTC ChaCha and SMART Netphone.

The box contains the unit, a charger with USB cord, standard headset, and a manual.
First off, the specs as printed on the back of the box:
  • Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • MSM8225 1.2 GHz Dual Core S4
  • 4" Capacitive Touch Panel
  • ROM: 4GB/ RAM: 512MB
  • Expandable microSD up to 32GB
  • GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE 900/1800/1900 | UMTS 2100
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n | Bluetooth 2.1
  • 3.5mm Stereo Audio Jack | Standard micro USB 2.0
  • 5MP Back Camera | VGA Front Camera
Before I go on, I would like to tell you that I bought this for only P3,999. My friend said that it's just the introductory price though and it now costs more than P4,000. All those great features for that price? I'd say it's such a big steal that other people can be forgiven for thinking it's too good to be true! How can Cherry Mobile sell this phone for that price when they can sell it for much higher considering that its specs can compete with [and sometimes, be even better than] more expensive models from other brands? I honestly don't know. I'm just glad that I did not shell out more money for another phone that basically has the same features as this.

Now, for what I liked:

The Flare already comes covered with a screen protector, which was a nice surprise since I don't have to go to other gadget shops and pay separately for it. It is also thin and light, plus the size is perfect for my hands. 

Cherry Mobile also sells different-colored cases for when you get bored of the standard black back cover that comes with the phone. On the photo is my light pink-colored cover and my long nails that I have already trimmed since.

I also got Apple Green. I love the bright color!
Thanks to its Dual Core processor, all apps are fast and zippy! My SMART Netphone used to irk me before because it always force closes whenever I try to use the Kindle app for Android (partly my fault because I loaded it with too many eBooks, but whatever), and now I am so glad that I don't experience it anymore!

Just four of the hundreds of eBooks in my Kindle library
Of course, I also love that it runs on Android Ice Cream Sandwich because it lets me enjoy more enhancements and a more refined interface. My previous two phones both run on Android Froyo so this is a huge improvement. Here is a screenshot of how I arranged my apps, using GO Launcher EX.

As you can see, I sorted my downloaded apps into different folders depending on their use, making the app deck more organized. I should do a "My Favorite Apps" post soon. (EDIT: I listed all my favorite apps here.)

My wallpaper and home page arrangement depending on the color of the back cover I'm using for the day:

My favorite wallpaper and clock + widgets for the apple green case.
My favorite wallpaper and clock + widgets for the pink case.
I miss the old Britney Spears.
Oh, I forgot to mention, this phone is also Dual SIM and both can run (send and receive messages) at the same time without needing to switch between the two! This feature is perfect for those who have personal and business phones since it lessens the need to bring two gadgets all the time. Just make sure you have an extra battery pack or a power bank with you anywhere you go ;) For me though, since I only have one personal SMART number (I had my Globe line disconnected already), the other SIM slot remains unused. We were all given a Samsung Galaxy Chat (costs P7,000 - P8,000 in the market but the specs are inferior to the Flare) with unlimited data plan as our office phone, and I love it because I can use it as a WiFi hotspot anytime.

Here is a screenshot of the messaging screen. You can see that Send2 cannot be selected because I did not put a SIM card on the second slot.

The front and back cameras are also pretty decent considering the price and its 5MP capability. Here are some sample images, please note that there was no editing or post-processing done unless stated otherwise:

The first photo I've taken with it: Valentine donuts from Go Nuts Donuts!
View from the 9th floor of Lepanto building 
Some of my favorite stamps 
Photo taken indoors under low light, with flash.
I really like the bokeh effect on my earring captured here.
Here is a sample photo taken with the front camera while my friend and I were inside a shopping mall.

Now I want to show you some photos I post-processed/ Instagrammed.

Using PicSay Pro
Outsmark ladies Kira and me, so fancy
I really, really, really like how this photo of my Accutones turned out.
Now for the things I didn't like:

The bottom left corner of the back cover creaks a bit like it's loose. It's negligible and doesn't really pose a problem, but if you're hardcore OC then you might not like it. I've since found out though that it doesn't happen when I use my apple green cover, so maybe it would be best if you can check the covers first before purchasing.

I've encountered two "Can't connect to the camera" error messages when I tried to take a photo after installing DECO Puri. I restarted the phone in both instances and never got the problem again, so maybe it's just a bug or minor glitch.

There is no FM Radio included. If yours didn't come with a free radio, you can go to any Cherry Mobile Service Center to get your phone updated. I tried to go but the line was soooo long (Cherry Mobile is getting a lot popular these days, I say) so I gave up and window-shopped instead.

I did not include battery life anymore since the need to charge every few hours is encountered by everyone from the smartphone-using population. The battery can survive the whole day during lazy weekends spent bumming around the house with the phone on standby, but on busy days I charge it twice: in the morning and in the afternoon. 

All in all, the Cherry Mobile Flare is a great phone that packs a LOT of punch in such a thin, nifty, and inexpensive gadget. I would gladly recommend it to everyone! I would also be updating this post with new discoveries from time to time (especially if I encounter any problems), so watch out for those. ;)

I've heard that this phone is always out of stock because of the demand. I actually got it from Lazada (stocks run out within a day of them announcing they've restocked so you might want to check their site regularly) because I am a diva who doesn't want to line up for gadgets LOL. Do tell me if you have this phone, too!

EDIT: I am not affiliated with Cherry Mobile in any way so if you have problems with the company, please bring it up to them directly.
For any questions about the unit and how to troubleshoot some problems with the device, please read the comments first because they might have already been answered by other people already.
I wrote about my favorite Android apps here.

This is not a sponsored post.