accessories (1) activity in a box (2) alendronate (1) alternative births (8) Announcements (9) Arugaan (7) Attachment Parenting (2) baby (75) baby-breastmilk (25) Baby-Led Weaning (3) baby-water (5) babywearing (10) Bali (3) BFP (17) births (8) breastfeeding (35) Butterfly Crafts (4) charity (2) cloth diaper (1) CNN Hero (4) contests (1) CW (6) digitalGinger (2) Digizines (25) Divine Digital (12) Doodleboogs (36) DPH (4) DSJunkie (1) ecowaste (1) events (11) featured (12) Food Trips (34) fosamax (1) Gentle Birth in the Philippines (6) Giveaways (1) golf (2) guest writer (2) hailan (2) hair (1) Hakab N 2014 (2) Hakab Na 2015 (1) HKG birth (8) home births (5) Home Decor (4) Homebirthing in the Philippines (3) Hong Kong (2) hybrid project (2) ibm2014 (3) Ibu Robin Lim (4) instructions (1) JJ Jr (6) kid recommended (5) kid-friendly (5) kids (9) kids activities (4) Krazy Mary (4) L.A.T.C.H. (5) lactation (7) LeahF (14) MCNP (1) Mei Tai (1) Mikki Livanos (19) Milestone (26) Milk Mommy Diaries (5) MKC (53) NatW (7) newborn (8) news coverage (5) Oli's Boxship (1) osteoperosis (1) PageMaps (1) paper projects (1) parent-friendly (6) parties (2) Positive Discipline (1) PP Scrappin (8) pregnancy (9) Product Reviews (4) Puppy (3) recipes (2) remedies (2) Ruxpin (1) scrapbooking (1) Shabby Scrap Designs (18) Stand Up And Scrap (2) SW (3) Sweet Sodypop Designs (7) Travel Guide (6) travel tips (5) Twopeas (4) UN MDG 2014 (4) UNTV (3) Veronica Spriggs (3) videos (2) WatW (19) wedding (10) yolanda (1)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

GNO, New Shopping Buddy, 4Seasons...MIAMI INK!

Friday...
- light enough day at work. I love Fridays because of this. There is time to write, enjoy my casual day and just be thankful that the weekend is here.

- IFC & Emporio Armani (Chater House...my fav building in HK). went to check out some errands and canvas some personal stuff. I finally took my mom's advice(s):
"If there's something makes you lose sleep over, I think it would be best to just succumb yourself to it...I would have taken the 'unique' and the one with the 'ummf' than just the 'plain-jane looking' clothing item that people will not take a 2nd look at it. Classics like that will be vintage and will last for years to come, even if I don't get to wear it everyday."
That's my mom for you! She dresses far younger than me...and has instill a very "unique taste" in clothing to me. Oh, big fan of retro stuff...all because of her. :P
Continuing...checked out Emporio Armani for the clothing article that makes me lose sleep for the past few weeks. There's doubt in me getting one since though the front is quite traditional and good for office use, the back had some problems that I just had to wear it a few more times. As per lesson, if I can wear it again and again in the store and not grow tired of it then it's okay to get it. I so remember the ML story. I was so sure that "it" was "the one" till after 3 visites of wearing it and showing it to my gal pals...the novelty of it and all lost it for me. Now, for my "it gown" - I'm going to avoid it like the plague since I already paid for it and no turning back! Hahahaha!
I ended up getting the top. I did it very quickly so as not to have time to say no or 2nd thoughts. I like it a lot! No regrets and I do sleep better at night now. :P

- Girls Night Out (GNO) @ Cafe Causette: my three gal pals, Swong & Ali, went for the unlimited wine & 3 course dinner at the Mandarin. Dinner was suppose to be at 8:30pm but Swong called up at 7pm and asking me if I can head there (Swong was already there for a company cocktails event but it was still too early) since she was dying of hunger - and with drinks at her event, she would surely be wiped out! I told her that I can be out in about 15min to meet SWong. Ali will catch up.
Got to the Mandarin Cafe Causette (see previous post for info) first and while I was browsing the menu, the waitress informed me that we were able to pick entrees from a particular set of the menu...all Indian, I might add. The image of Ali...in India...having an awful time with the food flashed through my head. She's not going to be too happy with the news. :P
Swong came after about a few minutes and I told her about this "hitch". Swong, being the more pro-active one, inquired to ask if she can take the a la carte and still get the wine tasting bit...which later the manager consented and told us to just spend roughly around the price of the course and we'll be fine. Good great great!
Swong and I were both hungry...she was truely stomach-hungry...I was more like thinking-hungry. We both got the lamb rack while she had the soft shell crab for starter while I had the Vietnamese chicken summer roll. :) Ali came a bit later and got the salad to start and the Angus Steak for her entree. We, three, shared on berry crumble and apple tart for dessert with our teas and wine. It was a night full of gal talk and wine...lovely evening indeed!
Showed my purchase to my gal pals but Ali also commented that she would have gotten the dress (see below) instead...I predicted thoughts in my head started coming out by then. I'm so dead! We had to wrap things up by 11:30pm since Ali had an early morning appointment else I think we could have stayed longer with the chats. ;)

Saturday...
- waited for DHL man...guy came past 11am! Hay...I could have slept in. He was nice enough to ring me to tell me that too though...maybe because they know that I might have forgotten or have slept through them in the past. :P

- gloomy rainy weather...rain, rain and more rain. I wouldn't complain if it was another weekend but today's the day I meet up with KW since he is currently my shopping buddy. I had lunch at home and met KW at CWB's Time Square to help with me on some errands.
First stop, by Giordano to check out the grey pants I saw last week. I didn't get to find the original one but there was another grey pants that seems to be okay...though there's a weird buckle at the back that doesn't allow me to wear a belt else it would be too bulky. Would you believe that I had to get a 24 to make it work? I'm so afraid that there wouldn't be enough room for me to grow into them or have them last more than a year but heck, I needed a grey pants. Got an OK from KW about it so I guess it's a go.
Picked up another black stretch pants from Agnes' Gigi and got a white everyday shirt...quick stops so as not to bore KW.
The rain was still not letting up and it was quite annoying to go around CWB in the rain so I basically told him that we just head for tea at Le Pain Grille. Upon entering, Ming was heading out for something - it was really a great treat to see him...especially KW and I were both like wet ducks! :P Ming gave us a table, Teddy waved behind the counter and we were all set to order! I was a bit more peckish than I expected so I had the Croque Monsieur Ggratin (ham & cheese sandwich with cheese on top, not the fried egg) while KW had the tea set (blueberry cheesecake and hot cafe latte). We basically chatted up a storm while the same was happening outside. First time to try the sandwich though EW's mom had awhile back. Love the cheese...so nice and definitely was a great pairing with the stringie fries and salad on the side. Yum! Good choice for a wet and cold day. KW was only so-so for the blueberry cheesecake, which is my regular. :)
It's one of the few places that do serve the infamous Absinth ~ the ones the old European master painters got addicted on...though I think the ones offered nowadays is less toxic (or next to none already). Gotta give it a shot when EW comes over. He's always game for these things. :P

- dinner at Sai Kung with Lex, Wil & KW and Wil's family. Lex had craving for seafood with the wet & rainy weather. It was a funny and interesting experience to meet Wil's family, Lex to be having such a great time eating and KW being an all sport with being "it" for the evening. Seafood was the main guest of the evening...anything and everything seafood was on our table. The long drive in the rain was worth it. Lex can vouch for that. :)

Sunday...
- Tasty Dumplings. Had my usual wonton noodle soup, veggies and rice noodle dish. It was nice and definitely enough to last for the next meal - high tea! Service was fast and courteous. I enjoy it there since I can be alone and no one will really care. There are people who would mind eating alone on the weekends but I guess I have been alone enough to go over that fear. I have the right to be there as everyone else and I'm definitely a paying customer, if not a returining one. :P I enjoy going to other places that enable me to relax alone even in a crowd of people like Mi-Ne-Sushi (CWB), Le Pain Grille (CWB), Delicious Kitchen (CWB), Metropolican Cafe (Admiralty), Metropole Dim Sum (Admiralty), St. Alps (CWB), Cafe Causette (Central), Starbucks (all over) , Pacific Coffee (IFC), CitySuper food court, etc...as long as I bring reading materials else I'd be staring at things at the resto/cafe.

- Emporio Armani or EA (yet again). I had to go back to recheck a dress that ALi told me is really nice and what she would have bought than the shirt. I requested for a few more dresses that were kept inside*. I tried on a few but still didn't really make me look "good"...though I think it would take more than just really nice dresses to make me as cool looking as the poster. :P The girl also insisted on one of the dresses to be the one in the poster, which it wasn't as I closely examine it. :P Nope...no sale from me. I didn't find the dresses easy to wear and I need more casual/semi-formal ones these days. Oh, plus most of the nice ones are 100% silk so dry cleaning expenses will skyrocket yet again.
*Side Note: This is as per Swong's tip that not all merchndize will be displayed in the store due to space and demand. A lot of the really nice ones are kept inside and will only be shown if requested by the client. The nice feature about this EA though too is the there are no cash counters and you can just sit in the couch while the sales lady brings out hangers and hangers of what you wanted. I remember suits are a good example when I went with Swong to see their new suits.

- HMV. CD binges again. It's been awhile since I went and really browsed again. I had my list of chillout CDs to hunt down that I got from Radio Beat IO. It was not a long enough stay...1 hour of listening and going around. I didn't bother to the DVD section since I am so trying to limit:
1.) Plague Stories (Various Artist), released 2006~ for Imogen Heap's Glittering Cloud (really worth the listen...the rest of the CD is not my thing...I'd still get it for that one song) ...for Imogen...for sure! Plus I know there's no single for this one.
2.) Makes Me Wonder (Maroon 5), released 2007~ for Makes Me Wonder...the songs that keeps looming in my head constantly!
3.) Are You Listening? (Dolores O'Riordan), released 2007 ~ for Ordinary Day...long awaited album and though she's on her own in this...there is still the Cranberries sounds quite prevalent. I still love her stuff...great listen!

My CD Frustrations...(the hunt is still on)
*Gwen Stefani's Sweet Escape (Single), taken from The Sweet Escape ~ only liked that one song on the sophomore CD. I can't see the justification of getting the whole CD...I think I would have just bought her debut album than this one. I'll just feel frustrated with having a hard time finding this single, even if the song, like the Maroon 5 song has been looming for weeks on end in my head!

*Timbaland feat. Nelly & JT's Give It To Me (Single), from the CD, Presents Shock Value ~ only liked that one song so...why bother having to get the whole thing.

*Tori Amos' American Doll Posse ~ getting this in Manila...if it's what I have here in HK (23 tracks)...cheaper for course!

* Chungking's Hungry Years ~ love the mood of the cd...very chillout and definitely "Making Music" got me hooked up. She's got a lot of slow ones and the good 3/4ths of the cd is quite worthy. I'm surprised that I didn't get to see her cd on the shelves since she has been included in a few Hed Khandi CDs...one of which I have - Hed Khandi's Winter Chill 06.03 with the song, Please Don't Talk. That's an awesome song that's included in the said cd too! :P
Also, Chungking's latest, Stay Up Forever (UK), May 2007. Noteworthy tracks are Beautiful Inside; I Love You and Love is Here To Stay. Man...all this crazy CDs out...I can't believe I've missed out on quite a few!

*Feist's The Reminder, released 2007 ~ Top of Amazon's CD list as of date...amazing but not surprising from such a talented artist such as Leslie Feist. I love Feist (being a pro-Canadian Supporter and the breakout artist of Broken Social Scene) with all my heart and totally adore her as close as Sarah but her lastest one was a really hard one for me to relate. There were more hush and sombre songs that I'm willing to shell out the money for it. I would like depressing songs but I can move them to a more chillout state and after a hard day's work...I think I would rather pay for more cheerier or funnier/a bit upbeat/remixed songs. I miss the days of Feist's balanced CDs like Let It Die and definitely not like her Open Sessions: Remixes & Collaborations. I wish there were more songs that reminded me of Open Sessions...I do love that quality in her. I think I will have to hear that CD a few more times to really get the hang of the new Feist. There are a few favorites already though like "1 2 3 4" and "How My Heart Behaves". I'll probably get the CD for Feist and the two songs sake...another time soon. :)
**FYI - I used to stay at HMV and spend most of my first few paychecks back in 1999 in that store? I met a few of the staff and they basically know that I stay there on the weekends? Oh...those were the days...oh, found cute guys there...:P

- Four Seasons HK High Tea Experience. I called up in the morning to ask if I can book or need to book a time for high tea at the Four Seasons (4Seasons) but I was informed that I do not need one...walk-ins are okay. This comes highly recommended by my gal pals and a few other people, aside from the Penn at TST (Tsim Sha Tsui ).
I was still deciding on whether to go or wait for another time to go...with the rains and the dreary weather side...I needed some good warmth going so at around late afternoon, I went to 4Seasons. Man...I should have placed my name in their list early because there was a waiting list drawn up by the time I go there at alittle plast 3:30pm!
***Before I go further, I gotta say that you gotta love your own country men because it will help you far and beyond when the time comes. Take for example - Filipinos are one of the most special people in this world, if not the best. I know my parents told me that if you do find one aboard your cruise ship, you're in for the best service, treatment and hospitality the world has to offer. I got to meet Cora (Corazon) and Dave, fellow Flips, at The Lounge, who provided wonderful and exceptional service for my first Four Seasons High Tea Experience.
(I guess that's the way you know it's good over here...the ones with long line-ups are really good and worth it.)
I finally got a table about 4pm. Although, a Chinese man took my order and not Cora or Dave, this man did a fairly good job of explaining to me the different types of teas in the menu...boy, it was far longer than what Mandarin had and there were some specialized teas, which is wonderful for tea lovers like me.
Four Seasons is the only place in HK that I can get Vancouver based tea supplier Tea Leaves. I love that store...never got around to get anything when I'm there but I know that they have a really appealing store and tons of teas to choose from. There's a Four Season's blend that was made specially for the hotel. It's a great way to remember and enjoy Vancouver even if I'm so far away. The last time I had the brand Tea Leaves was at the Bellagio's VIP check-in lounge in Vegas (2006)...love those silk packets.
By the way, I decided on Harmony, a herbal blend of Peppermint leaves, chamomile flowers, orange blossoms, and allspice, to accompany my snacks and scones. Lovely ... love the minty yet freshing merge.
I was informed by Dave (first Flip that I met) that petite fours and tea are refillable, as he placed the high tea stack. Dave is so funny and definitely both of us are happy to see some friendly Flip face amidst all the Canto/Chinese atmosphere. The decor and feel is quite cozy and homey...definitely far different from my Mandarin High Tea Experience.
I later got to met Cora while she asked me how my tea service is going. I guess there was so weird awkwardness since I was alone...reading my newspaper in a place like that for High Tea...especially when most of the people went there in pairs or groups of family members/ friends. Cora got all chatty when she found out that I'm a Flip working in HK also. It was great since I was able to get more information about their teas - great tea selection - "T" from Vancouver; the only hotel that carries this brand in HK. Lovely stuff...gotta go back again!
Oh, and definitely get mom to try it out next month!
PS: I get the same wonderful treatment at Agnes b's Le Pain Grille for the same reason from fellow Flip, Teddy and Ming (though not Flip but referred by Teddy to me to look for if he's away)

- Giordano (HK) CWB. I picked up my grey pants that I had them cut shorter for me. Good thing that the weather is more coorperative...just small drizzles. Funny on how people like KW think that I always need to go for the brand-named items...or maybe I show that but for good dependable clothing articles - Giordano works quite well already. They seem to get the fit and design right for me. I love the pants that I got...I had doubts but somehow, it worked. Doubts because I was reduced to a size 24 from two week ago's 26! I think it's gotta be the style since I tried on other brand of jeans in size 26 and it didn't seem to fit well...I was squeezing every living being of me into those 26 pants! I was so TH - "trying hard". :P
Since I was there, I checked out Giordano Ladies, upstairs...no harm done and I had to make use of the MTR fare. I found some nice black dresses (yes...it will be black, white, beige and grey clothing articles for me for a very long time) that might work well with me. Guess what...it does! I like since it's cut in a more modern than "cute" kind of way. I love the clean and fresh touches with some special draping...some pleating in strategic positions and another with some really cool buttons! I love them both - can't wait to use them! Oh, the nice thing too is that Giordano had sample black sandals per dressing room so you can wear them to see if the outfit will work with you. I got stares when I inquired for other colors, sizes and other new styles from people outside of the dressing room. Here I go again...the Club Monaco experience all over again. :P I'm so embarrassed to come out already! Good that KW wasn't there...now that would be embarrassing. No offense, KW!
Thus...damage this week from Giorgano is 2 black dresses (work and play purpose) and 1 pair of grey jeans...love them!

Monday...
TV and Reality Show Buff. I'm currently too hooked with TLC's Miami Ink. I love reality shows but this one is really different. There's a shop and you see the various types of people who come in. Each one has their own stories and it's up to these artists to somehow immortalize those stories through their art. The artists are Ami James, Chris Garver, Chris Nunez, Darren Brass and Yojiro "Yoji" Harda. The gal tattoo artist in the photo is Kat Von D, who did some work at Miami Ink and has now set-up a tattoo shop in the West Coast called LA Ink. :)
I guess I can relate to this since I had my share of those things ~ Lammer can verify that. Got the artwork, the place, etc ready...coincidences and all. Maybe I can get around it in another lifetime...or if I'm at Miami. I want to be tattooed by Chris Garver and would either be something Japanese/Chinese or a Celtic design. I'm so envious of my pal, Wendi, who did end up getting her's during college when we (Laura, Wendi and I) promised that we'd get them all together. :P She was the only one who did end up getting. I'll try to find the sketch and post it up sometime. I love that and worked hard on it before I finally decided that it was done ~ it's a Celtic design inspired by Janet Jackson's pelvic tattoo. :)
"A tattoo will last longer than romance." ~Ami James, Miami Ink

*******************
Title: A Tiny Miracle
Kit Name: June Bonus - Map of Me (ScrapOutSideOfTheBox)
Kit Designer: Doodleboogs
Program: PS7.0
Font: Script MT Bold
Journaling: A Tiny Miracle (Author: Kathy from Scrapbook.com) "You are a tiny miracle. Laying close to my beating heart, Each and everyday l feel your presence inside of my womb. We can't wait to meet you."
Notes: A preggy gal pal of mine from Vancouver...6 months old! Wow...so sweet and amazingly big now! :) 1st child (and grandchild for both families)...surely will be showered with much love. Congrats, Mandy & Conrad! TYFL!

That's it for layouts this week...I'm going off to Manila for a vacation! :) I'm going to be painting Manila "RED"!

A Side Note: A friend sent me this...$250,000 Gundam will rock your, uh, socks --> Boys and their toys. It's a 5-inch Gundam slathered in platinum with diamonds for eyes, manufactured by Bandai. What else would they think up next? I can sometimes understand the Prada and D&G mobile phone but this is taking things too extreme. Diamond eyes!

***To answer TiggerLily's Question on my previous blog: TYFL = Thank You For Looking :) ***