Wednesday, November 26, 2014

An Inspired Afternoon + Unstyling with Kitty Bunag

I think it's been almost a year since our house's construction began. Yes, it's taking forever, because we're making do with the funds that we have. Haha! It was only halfway through this year when we gathered enough courage to finally take out a construction loan from BDO. But even with the loan, it's been a real challenge.

So anyway, the construction will be over sooner or later (hopefully sooner rather than later), so when I saw an announcement for the 'Unstyling: Effortless Decor' workshop by Kitty Bunag, I immediately signed up.

The workshop was held last Friday (11.21.2014) at La Creperie in Salcedo Village, Makati. It was so well-received that the space was packed with eager attendees!

I've only been to La Creperie in Shangri-La and Eastwood, and to be honest, I didn't know that they had a branch in Salcedo. It's actually bigger than the two that I frequent, and it had a lot of wonderful natural light streaming in thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows.

As usual, I was one of the earliest to arrive, so I took the opportunity to snap a few photos of the workshop area before the other attendees started to arrive.

Ms. Kitty Bunag of Craftsmith Living styled the venue. It was so elegant and beautiful to look at, down to the littlest details! It was like a small pocket of heaven for photography enthusiasts. Hehe!

During the workshop proper, we were served savories and sweets by La Creperie, so our tummies were pretty happy.

Here's a shot of Ms. Kitty Bunag during her talk:

I love the concept behind Unstyling. It basically means that you don't need new, expensive things to make your living space look beautiful. You just need to look at your existing possessions from a new perspective and it'll help you turn the most humble and everyday objects into works of art that can easily transform a space.

My three favorite items on our handouts from the workshop were the following:

1. UP-CYCLE. Re-use and re-purpose old stuff into something new and useful.

2. TELL A STORY. Once an object has more weight than a mere material possession, there is substance and a story can be told. Decoratively display your treasures, even your simplest collections.

- Create the kind of depth and layers that you would want to see everyday.
- Hang unusual textiles.
- Use splashes of color or a random piece of old furniture.
- Take note of transitional areas (hallways and doorways) as opportunities for you to personalize.
- Mix eras gently.
- Mismatch. Defy proportions.

With those three tips in mind, I cannot wait to get started on our house's interior! I just wish the house was finished already. Haha!

After the talk, we were encouraged to go around the workshop area and take photographs of the items that Ms. Kitty prepared for us. Everyone eagerly stood up and snapped photos. We were also encouraged to touch and move objects around to achieve the image that we want for our photographs. Yes, the workshop included a lesson on how to take Lifestyle Photographs.

Here are some of the photos that I was able to take. I hope they convey how inspired I was during that afternoon. :)

Aside from the new learnings, the photographs, and the inspiration, I was also thrilled to have met new people during the workshop. It's wonderful meeting people from different industries. It was like being reminded of how complex and wondrous the world is. Haha! Cheers to the beautiful ladies whom I shared a table with. :)

As if that wasn't enough, we didn't leave the workshop empty-handed either. We were given all these goodies to take home with us:

The workshop was a collaboration between & TSM Luxe Events by The Spoiled Mummy. No wonder we were blissfully spoiled!

If you have an Instagram account, please follow the workshop's organizers and speakers. You can also check out the hashtags to see more photos taken by the other attendees during the event.

La Creperie Moderne
V Corporate Center, Soliman St.
Salcedo Village, Makati City

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pixel Pro + Fujifilm X30

I recently sold my Nikon D40 which I've had for almost 6 years. In those years, I treated it like my own baby. I took care of it. But because I started attending more and more events, and I also had to commute sometimes, it became impractical for me to lug around a heavy and bulky DSLR.

I decided to switch to something smaller, but I didn't want just another regular point and shoot. My brother suggested the Fujifilm X20 and after reading up on its specs, I set out to buy one. The thing was, it was sold out almost everywhere I looked. I was frustrated and almost desperate because I had already sold my Nikon D40 and I didn't like the grainy photos that my cellphone was producing. But I guess the universe was trying to tell me something - it was telling me to wait for the Fujifilm X30. Haha!

Here's a YouTube review:

If I'm not mistaken, the Fuji X30 was made available in the Philippines in October of this year. That's what the guy at Pixel Pro told me anyway. Hehe!

So, with the additional funds that The Memet gave me plus my savings and the money I got from selling my Nikon D40, I got myself a black and silver Fuji X30 at Pixel Pro in Greenhills.

The folks over at Pixel Pro were very accommodating. The guy who assisted The Memet and I showed us the basics of how to use the camera and even installed all the freebies for me. Yep, there were freebies worth approximately P7,000. 7k worth of freebies! Awesome!

Here's a photo of my camera with all its freebies:

Pretty neat, huh?

I totally love the vintage look of my camera. It looks like a resurrected version of the old film cameras. It's not exactly as light as I want it to be, but the sturdy weight of it feels nice whenever I have to shoot. Most importantly, it produces sharp photos. Love love!

I walked out of Pixel Pro grinning from ear to ear. Haha! But before I did, we got our picture taken inside the shop, using my new camera:

I wish my cousin Jaimie lived here in the Philippines so she could do my hair every single day. Hahaha!

Pixel Pro

Manila Branch:
V-359 3rd Floor V-Mall, Greenhills, San Juan
726.9387, 584.5356

Cebu Branch:
Unit 24 G/F Atrium Parkmall Complex
North Reclamation Area, Mandaue City
[032] 420.9155, [032] 505.0576

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My OTKB Experience

OTKB means Olive Tree Kitchen and Bar. They have a restaurant in Bonifacio High Street, and we went there immediately after our Basic Photography Tips and Tricks for Bloggers Workshop in Fully Booked. Click here for my blog post on the workshop.

We went there primarily to take photos of OTKB's food so that we could practice the tips and tricks that we learned from the workshop. Yes, we were allowed to eat the food afterwards. Haha!

OTKB is very easy on the eyes. The place has a pleasant vibe and it's very photogenic too! Here are some of the food photos that I managed to take while I was there:

There were a lot more dishes, but there were so many bloggers squeezing in to take photos. Haha! Being the shy person that I am (walang kokontra), I just stepped back and observed. I love observing people. :)

After sampling the food that we photographed, I asked for a copy of OTKB's menu so I could check out the price range. The food was so good, and I wanted to come back with The Memet so that he could experience their food too!

It's a nice place for a casual yet romantic date with your significant other. You'll probably spend approximately P1,500 (for two) for a delectable, filling meal. I'm definitely taking The Memet there. ♥

Olive Tree Kitchen and Bar
Ground Floor, B3, Bonifacio High Street,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Basic Photography Tips & Tricks for Bloggers

As many of you probably know by now, I have a thing for photography. I've never attended any kind of workshop before, so many of my photos (using my DSLR) have always been taken on full-auto.

Enter 'Basic Photography Tips & Tricks for Bloggers'.

When I heard about this workshop, I jumped at the chance to sign-up because I'm a sucker for continuous self-improvement. I don't believe in being stagnant when it comes to learning. I always want to learn, learn, learn! *wink*

The workshop happened last Nov. 8 in Bonifacio High Street's Fully Booked branch. It was the same day that Canon PhotoMarathon 2014 was held in the same area. I felt extra inspired that day because I saw so many photographers roaming around Bonifacio High Street's pedestrian friendly neighborhood.

There were two major speakers present that day, and I'll let you in on the things that I learned from them.

1. Basic Photography by John Cailao 

John discussed point of focus, composition, and even taught us the basics of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. 

We had a few minutes to tinker with our camera settings, too. I initially sat at the 2nd row, but my friend Donna of Honey's Haven pulled me to sit at the front row and I've never been more grateful. Haha!

Here's a sample shot that I was able to take with my Fuji X30 on manual settings.

Not bad, eh? I wish we had more time so that all of us could have had some hands-on experience on the theories that were discussed, but I guess a full-on photography workshop can't happen in 1 hour. Hehe! The lack of time might sound like a set-back, but it inspired me to further learn how my camera works in order to take non-mediocre pictures.

Aside from the basics in photography, my favorite tip from John when taking photos is to not think about how you look while taking that photo. Haha! I tend to be self-conscious, but he had a point there. If you need to crouch or sit on the floor, or do whatever, then do it. Sometimes a change in angle is all it takes to make your ordinary photo more extraordinary.

2. Blogging and Online Publishing with Photos by Azrael Coladilla

Blogger-extraordinaire, Azrael Coladilla of Azrael's Merry Land, shared with us the things that bloggers needed in order to make interesting and engaging blog posts. One of the keys? Publishing good photos.

Here's a photo of him unloading his magical bag. There sure was a lot of stuff in there!

When taking photos for your blog, you don't necessarily need to have expensive cameras. A cellphone would do, so long as you know how to take clear and interesting photos with it. Sir Azrael taught us how best to watermark our photos, and where to sell them too! And because of his talk, I re-activated my Flickr account. Haha!

I had a lot of fun listening to Sir Azrael's stories about his experiences in taking photos during events. He shared a lot of tips on what to do and what not to do when photographing celebrities or well-known personalities, as well as tips on how to photograph food!

Overall, the workshop inspired me to up my photography skills. And guess what? I won a free pass to Nikon School's Basic Photography Workshop for this weekend! Yey! I think the universe is trying to tell me something. Hahaha!

Anyway, I'd like to thank the organizers for coming up with this event. I had a lot of fun meeting other bloggers. :)

Thanks to the following for making the event possible:

Before I end this post, here's a group shot taken by sir Azrael at the end of the workshop. :)

Photo Credit: Azrael Coladilla (

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Crazy Over Beeffalo

The first time I was in Beeffalo, I was with a huge group of friends and we had lots of food, but I only had my cellphone with me so all the photos that I took were grainy. After I got my new camera (Woot!) I went back to Beeffalo with my parents and had lunch with them there - I also wanted them to experience the place.

Here are some of the grainy yet decent photos from the first time. Haha! It was October, so they had Halloween decorations all over the place. Pretty cool!

I love this Vespa that's inside their restaurant. It's not a Halloween decoration. It's a permanent fixture inside - I think. Haha!

It was pretty dark inside because my huge group and I sat in a corner, so I won't share photos of the food from my first visit. They're not exactly what you'd call blog worthy. Haha!

Instead, I'll share with you the food that my parents and I had during my second visit at Beeffalo. Because there were only three of us, we didn't get to order a lot, so you'll only see a couple of pictures here. I know, I know.

But before that, let me tell you a quick story about my lunch date there with my parents. *wink*

Beeffalo is in a seemingly lonely spot along Gil Fernando Ave., in Marikina. It doesn't have any immediate neighbors. But when my parents and I went there for lunch last week, there were A LOT of cars lined up on the sides of the road and I was like, "Oh no! Is that their lunch crowd?!" I thought we'd have to battle for parking, but as we continued to drive nearer Beeffalo, we realized that their parking area was actually pretty much empty. Only two tables were occupied when we stepped in. Whew! All those cars outside? They were lined up to get their cars fixed at a nearby garage. Haha!

We were pretty hungry when we got there, so here's what we ordered:

Margherita Biscuit Pizza - P145

The pizza was super thin. It was cheesy and absolutely yummy! Don't let it get cold though. It'll taste okay, but it won't taste as good as it does when eaten hot.

Baby Back Ribs (Single w/ Java Rice) - P270

My dad ordered the Baby Back Ribs. He was eager to dive in because it looked absolutely enticing. And sure enough, it was really good. He even tapped me to look at his ribs so that he could show me how the meat separated from the bones easily.

Pork Liempo (with Java Rice) - P175

My mom loves Filipino food, so she immediately singled out the Pork Liempo from the menu. It was good - although a bit fatty.

Breakfast Steak (125g) - P180

My Breakfast Steak came with a fried egg, but my dermatologist has me on a no chicken/egg/seafood diet, so my mom asked the waiter to scramble the egg instead and put it on a separate plate. The waiter agreed, but the egg was still fried sunny-side up and on my plate when our orders were brought to our table. Oh well. The mashed potato and vegetables with balsamic vinegar were pretty good. The steak on my plate wasn't so bad. It was a bit dry on the inside, but it tasted good. I wish it was juicier though.

Cucumber Lemonade - P60

My mom and I ordered a glass of Cucumber Lemonade while my dad had water. But he ended up taking sips of our Cucumber Lemonade too. Haha! It's like your traditional lemonade, but not very sour. It had a hint of cucumber in it which made it all the more refreshing.

The first time I ate at Beeffalo, I was hesitant to try the Cucumber Lemonade, so the waiter offered me a sample. You'd think the sample would be a tiny sip from a small glass, but he brought me this:

The sample was 3/4 full. Generous much? Haha!

Anyway, you should try it too when you decide to visit Beeffalo.

Overall, I'd say Beeffalo is a great restaurant that's worth coming back to. They serve good food at reasonable prices, and the place is just charming! There are trees outside and the street that they're on is hardly ever congested. The place feels fresh and relaxing. Definitely worth a visit.

(Dress by The Bonenica Shop; Bag and Shoes by The Memet Shop)

Beeffalo by Hotrocks - Marikina
Blk 6 L3 Gil Fernando Ave. Sto. Niño, Marikina City


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