Fashion Friday: The Edit

I'm gushing over Net-a-porter's online magazine: THE EDIT! And I'm even more kilig because they featured one of my style icons, Kate Bosworth, in this online issue. Check out the actual magazine here

ATV Adventure in the Cambodian Countryside

Here are some snapshots from our ATV adventure! I was a happy passenger the whole time (nakapag chancing-chancing ako with my pogi driver! I hugged him like a koala throughout the ride! Haha!) We drove through the beautiful countryside just as the sun was about to set---a dirty, muddy, and surprisingly romantic kind of afternoon date for usne 3 couples. After the putik fest, we freshened up a bit and made our way to the famous Pub Street to fill our tummies with some decent grub. Our friend Drew was bold enough to try their exotic meat platter: Crocodile, Ostrich and Kangaroo---but we were just too hungry to try something new, we ended up ordering a pizza! Ang corny! Hahaha, minus points for us as travelers but the cheese, mushrooms, and tomato sauce just hit the spot for us!:)

The Instagram Project

 Three Cheers for my creative BFF, Alessa Libongco-Lanot of Life After Breakfast
 for being a part of this cool social media experiment: 
The Instagram Project by Podium Mall. I'm so proud of you, Zexy!

Perfect Pieces


A few weeks ago, we got the ultimate surprise of surprises! My Home Magazine and Perfect Pieces sent us a genuine cowhide leather rug for our bedroom. For months, we've been trying to figure out how to fill up this "chunk of emptiness" in our bedroom. It lacked warmth and oomph, and we couldn't seem to put our finger on it---basta may kulang. When the delivery came, I happily unwrapped the package and brought the rug upstairs and it FIT our room so perfectly! Our room now feels warm and homey thanks to this rug :) Again, my deepest thanks to Maite Tamparong-Uy and Pam So-Suarez for this thoughtful gift. I love it, I love it! And I'm sure all you readers will love it too :) :) 

I won't lie, it's a bit on the pricey side since it's made of the highest quality cow hide leather. I honestly would not consider this as just a "rug", it's really more of an art piece for your home that will last you forever. There are a lot of things you can scrimp on but beautiful things like this are definitely worth investing on, especially if you place a premium in your living space (like I do, or at least I try to! Hehehe). They have a lot of different designs available, but below are my favorites. And guess what, I pestered Pam So-Suarez endlessly (kulit is more the term really!) just so I could get a rug for YOU! Yes, YOU! I wanted to share the happiness with my lovely readers..so if you scroll down further you'll see the mechanics for a special giveaway :) Yehey, we could be rug-mates! We could call it our friendship rugs! hehehe! Thanks again Perfect Pieces for hosting this giveaway :)

You could win this 
genuine cow hide leather rug 
worth Php27, 950
from Perfect Pieces! 
Personal Note: This has got to be one of my favorites in the entire collection. With a 5 ft diameter, it's such a bold statement piece that will immediately transform a ho-hum space into a stylish area. And since the colors are neutral, it'll match any home theme. 

1. Click the LIKE and TWEET buttons below.
2. Answer this simple question: "Where would you boldly display this special Perfect Pieces floor art piece and WHY?" 
(bedroom, living room, home office, dining room, etc)
3. Send your answer along with your full name, mobile number and home address to pattylaurelfilart@gmail.com on or before September 3, 2013.  
For inquiries, visit www.perfectpieces.com.ph or contact 0917-8445942.

Traditional Khmer Cooking Class

On our second day in the city, we tried to domesticate ourselves Cambo style. We visited their wet market to check out the fresh produce (we found a lot of exotic items---funny looking fruits&vegetables and even skinned&headless frogs and snakes for sale! Eeeep! I'm adventurous but not THAT adventurous.) After the market trip, we learned how to cook some traditional Khmer meals with the Cooks in Tuks-tuks. We prepared a Sweet Potato&Sago in Coconut Milk dessert (tastes a lot like ginataan), Banana Heart Salad (PUSO!!!), and the most famous Cambodian dish of them of all--AMOK! Since we've been having Fish Amok for N times, we opted for the Chicken Amok instead for this particular class. It was hot and sticky both in the market and during our cooking session, I'm glad I wore a very breathable dress from Suiteblanco. I paired it with my el cheapo rain flats to complete my no fuss look for the long activity filled morning. Dresses in light, wrinkle free fabrics are great travel staples, they are very versatile taking you from day to night PLUS they don't occupy too much space in your luggage. Here are some photos from our Siem Reap foodie morning!

Temple Run: Angkor Wat Complex

Howdy friends! Did you guys enjoy our travel video? (If you haven't seen it, just scroll a few posts down) I'm sorry I've been MIA for a couple of days now..I've missed you guys and I'm happy to be back home with our wifi and a bajillion photos from our Cambodia trip. 

Our friend Lea booked our promo fare tickets eons ago, giving us ample time to save up for pocket money, tour&hotel budget. In fact, it was soooo long ago that it actually slipped our minds already. Like the rest of Luzon, we were still reeling from the horrendous effects of Maring and not exactly in "travel mode" when we flew out last Thursday night. We got on the plane with heavy hearts..ang hirap naman kasi mag-bakasyon knowing that your country is in shambles. But since we already prepaid for everything, not pursuing the trip would only mean a waste of our hard earned money. There were things that were beyond us and already in God's hands---so we chose to make the most out of this trip and still carry on. 
Now that we're back from our quickie getaway, I'm happy we pushed through.  It was great to re-visit mystical Siem Reap with friends, it really is such a magical place and one of my favorite cultural heritage sites in Asia. And more than anything, it was a meaningful bonding experience for our group. For this trip, we were accompanied by fellow newlyweds Lea&Drew Pacis and Joann&Mic Palanca. Both Lea and Joann are two of Patrick's closest childhood friends---I knew Lea and Joann also in grade school, along with Patrick they were one batch higher than me in our super small school ICA. As much as I enjoy traveling with my husband and enjoying some QT with my man, it's also great to plan trips with like-minded friends. Having a group dynamic is really different at dahil marami kayo, di kayo mauubusan ng jokes at side stories so it becomes a never-ending laugh fest! AND you get to save too because tours, transpo, even meals can be split 6 ways. The bigger the barkada, the more savings!
Siem Reap is a very laid back kind of city with a LOT of similarities with our local provinces. It has the rural charm of Bohol or Dumaguete, my kind of slow paced chill. Cambodians are generally friendly and kind, I guess one could credit this to their religious beliefs as most Buddhists and Hindus are very peaceful and calm. We never felt unsafe throughout our stay and other than the tuktuk drivers (na kukulitin ka "Tuk-Tuk? Tuk-Tuk?" ten times, think the vendors in Greenhills who pester you "Dibidi? Dibidi?"), we really didn't encounter any problems with the people. Mababait at malambing din sila tulad natin :) :) Southeast Asians rock! 

As a traveler, it's always important to show respect to the locals since you are an outsider stepping on their turf---if you show respect to them, normally (and ideally) they will show respect back. Showing respect doesn't necessarily mean kailangan mo mag MANO PO sa tour guide, hehehe. It could be in your manner of speaking using a soft tone, keeping your voices down when in big groups (don't you just hate rowdy and loud tourists?!?!), being neat and clean (no littering!), wearing appropriate clothes, being on time for your tours, and being mindful of their customs and traditions. 
We arrived just before midnight on Thursday so we officially started our Cambodian advenchooor Friday morning. We hired a private tour guide for the day for roughly 30USD, split it 6 ways in a barkada---that's a steal. That's just 200pesos per head for a private full day guided tour! Parang nanood ka lang ng sine or nagbayad ng toll sa Skyway!:) Some people opt to just buy a tour book and explore the temples on their own---which I totally understand if you're a lone wolf kind of traveler. But I always like to hire a private guide because 1)There are things you can learn from a local guide that you won't pick up in your books 2)It's good to support the hardworking local guides especially when you're in a third world country like Cambodia. Our guide Saroun was very knowledgeable and brought us to all the "secret" passage ways away from the hoards of tourists. Sulit na sulit ang bayad namin sa kanya.

The Angkor Wat complex is located around 5 kms away from the city center and easily accessible via tuktuk. Since it's a UNESCO World Heritage site, it's heavily protected and secured. There are several mini temples around Angkor Wat which is why you would need one whole day (at least) to really soak in the temple experience. The Temple Pass is mandatory for all visitors, it cost us 20USD each for a full day pass. One whole day to explore the MAIN temples should be enough for first timers. If you really are into temples and have a longer stay planned, then you could opt for the 3 day pass. 
Each temple has a different story to tell, so I would definitely encourage you to explore the other temples aside from ANGKOR WAT. My favorites would have to be the Bayon Temple and Ta Phrom Temple. Of course, Angkor Wat wins in the "OMG" department--it's all you could ask for in a giant temple: massive, majestic, awe-inspiring. I don't want to share too much info so I don't strip you of that WOW moment when you guys visit one day. It's other worldy and amazing--and a place you really should visit before you die. 
Just a word of caution, it's extremely HOT in Siem Reap so be sure to pack a LOT of sunscreen. We assumed the weather would be bearable after all this was considered their "rainy season". We packed light jackets and rain shoes but we were greeted by the glorious, sweltering heat of the sun. The weather is very similar to ours, wherein it's scorching hot in the morning up until 2-3pm then a little rain passes in the afternoon. In the Angkor Wat complex, visitors are expected to dress appropriately after all it is a place of worship. So ditch your short-shorts and tank tops! Girls have to cover their shoulders and legs---so the best would be a tshirt or a kaftan top paired with some loose pants/long skirt. I got my whole outfit from SUITEBLANCO in Sm Aura: a breathable cotton white tshirt, the most comfortable polka dot pants, a neon green sling, and of course for a bit of "arte" I wore a nice silver statement neckpiece. I wore TOMS shoes, I recommend breathable rubber soled shoes that will be sturdy enough for all-day walking. No wedges and heels please, unless it's always been your big dream to have a sprained ankle. 
I personally subscribe to the Christian faith (Jesus is mahhh homeboy!), but visiting Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples was still a very spiritual experience for me. We all have our own belief systems and we all can live harmoniously together even if we worship differently---it's all about RESPECT and LOVE! It really is a personal relationship at the end of the day, it's between you and God. But the common denominator for most religions would be this---there's always something out there that is BIGGER than us. Something more powerful, all knowing, and sovereign that as humans we will never ever comprehend fully. And just as I marveled at how the Buddhists/Hindus built these temples in all its grandeur to honor their gods, I took the time to also reflect on my own faith. Am I as bold and proud of my faith as the Buddhists/Hindus who built these mega structures? Hindi nila ikinahiya yung mga paniniwala nila, ipinagmalaki nila, ibinigay nila ang lahat ng maibibigay nila. I don't plan to build an Angkor Wat 2 in Metro Manila (it'll probably look like SM Aura, hehehe)---but I can be as passionate and dedicated to MY God just as these Cambodians were (and still are) to their faith. 
So that concludes PART 1, I have several blogs to follow. We did a lot of other things (non-temple related) in Siem Reap that I'm excited to share with all of you. So please stick around for more posts :)

Congratulations!

I got about a thousand twitter/IG entries for this contest but there could only be ONE winner! Thank you to all of you for being so creative with your entries. You made me smile with all your posts..thank you, thank you. How I wish I had more phones to give to my wonderful readers, maybe next time..right Samsung??? *wink wink* The winner of this contest is @Janeenalan on Instagram! She will be taking home a BRAND NEW Samsung Galaxy Mega! I loved how she chronicled all her simple but fun daily adventures (tagging me and #GalaxyMega along with her!). To the winner, please email me at pattylaurelfilart@gmail.com for verification purposes. And to all my dear readers, I have another contest coming up with another BIG prize so stay tuned tomorrow.
  And a BIG thank you to Samsung Philippines for this special giveaway for my readers!

Our Siem Reap Adventure

We just got back from Cambodia this morning and we're still on a high :) I can't wait to blog about our barkada trip and share all the travel tips I picked up over the weekend. In the meantime, here's a video diary of our Siem Reap trip, which Patrick shot using a Blackmagic Pocket Camera. I'm so grateful I have a videographer/editor husband---now all our trips/life events are kept in special time capsules like this. Hope you enjoy watching this video! Blog posts with more details to follow :) 
Siem Reap 2013 from ThirtySix-O Media on Vimeo.
My clothes & accessories are by Suiteblanco. 

Travel Essentials

Thank you ANMA Lifestyle for sending me these stylish travel organizers and to SUITEBLANCO for my lovely bags and accessories too :) I can't wait to use them for my upcoming trip with Patrick's high school barkada!!!!
Anma Lifestyle sells three travel essentials: 1)A Travel Wallet for you to keep your travel documents, trip itinerary, passport, etc in order 2) A Jewelry Roll perfect for people who like to pile on the accessories 3) A cute Ipad Case that also doubles as a clutch for a fancy date night. All items are pretty affordable and would be great as gifts for your jetsetting girlfriends. For orders, you can just visit their FB Page here.

Bag Crush

I saw this photo of my style idol, Olivia Palermo, online and I had a mini heart attack. This woman is impossibly stylish, I don't even know where to begin. She's so cool her bike is starting to look like a Ducati! OH, The power of Olivia :) 
Although it will take me 20 years before I actually save enough money to get a bag like this, there are still a lot of good quality brands out there that I could subscribe to. In fact, I remember checking out a few bags when I was vacationing in NYC last May. Patrick and I had an agreement and I proudly stuck to my "no shopping" rule for our trip so we could allot our budget to food and sightseeing. But I was able to set aside some money and I think it's time for a little splurge (paminsan-minsan lang naman, di ba!?). I wanted to get an authentic designer bag but didn't want to pay a big sum for it, so I remembered my Tita Marie (one of my mom's best friend who's based in the States) was dropping by a designer outlet store this week---so I had to send her money ASAP para masama niya yung dream bag sa purchases niya. 

Wire transfers through banks are tricky and tedious so I decided to try Western Union's money transfer service. It was my first time ever so I did some research--of course I wanted to make sure it was a secure way of sending my hard earned money. I heard good reviews from friends and family members so I decided to go through it. 

I visited their website to read the instructions and also to search for the nearest location. I found a PNB branch near our condo that offers the Western Union service for a fixed transaction fee of only Php770 (for USA). I simply filled up the form with my contact details, birthday, email address, and TIN (you could also put in your SSS/GSIS) and showed them my driver's license. For the recipient, I just jotted down my Tita's full name and contact details, too. The whole process took about 5 minutes, painless and not at all intimidating. And unlike bank transfers which takes several business days, your recipient can receive the money anywhere in the world within minutes! Plus for your peace of mind, they also have a tracking service which will allow you to follow your money.

As soon as I got home, I sent my Tita a message on Facebook with the Money Transfer Control Number. She just crossed the street to her favorite drugstore (which happens to have a Western Union kiosk), showed the MTCN to the teller and collected the money just by showing her ID! Super easy! So now all I have to do is just wait for my dream handbag to arrive!!!!! Yahoooo :) :) I'm glad I gave this a shot, what a convenient way to send & receive money to loved ones abroad!

                                                                                                                                This post is brought to you by Western Union.


                                                         

Staying Safe&Dry with this Guy

On Me: Top from Trilogy, Silk Scarf from Thailand, Neon Green Bag from Suiteblanco,
Watch from Michael Kors, Leggings&Sneakers from F21:)

My New Baking Buddy

Meet Kitchie, my new Kitchen Aid 7 speed hand mixer!!!!:) I actually had "Kitchie" for a couple of weeks now, but she was just sitting pretty on our counter top like a little red princess. She was just too pretty to touch! Now I totally understand why these comic book geeks keep their action figures in mint condition, never taking them out of their boxes..that's exactly how I felt about my hand mixer and hand blender. Ang ganda lang nilang tingnan kasi :) :) But I decided that today would be the day I would finally USE my hand mixer. It was raining and I was craving for a brownie---so instead of wasting gas and getting stuck on the road (and risk getting flooded!) I said to myself "Why don't I just bake something?". So I grabbed the Ghirardelli Caramel Turtle Brownie mix in my pantry (yes, I'm still taking shortcuts---baking beginner here so be kind!) and took my baby Kitchie for a spin. She looks so demure and sweet but maaaaaan, she can work that batter! I actually tried mixing with a whisk first which took a bit of kili-kili effort, but as soon as I switched on Kitchie---wow, the batter felt light as a feather! I was able to mix the ingredients within seconds and it came out smooth, lump free, and totally delightful. 

The hand mixer is actually perfect for newbie bakers and condo dwellers, it's a small but powerful tool that doesn't occupy too much space. It's incredibly stylish too and comes in different colors! They have a Kitchen Aid store in Glorietta and you can find Kitchen Aid products in leading department stores too :) I can't wait to bake more treats with Kitchie!!! Don't worry I will post all my triumphs and trials with my Kitchen Aid. Let's go through this cooking-baking adventure together, ok?:) 
Thank you so much to Eurose and Gerry of Focus Global Inc.  :) I need to practice for a few more months but as soon as I perfect my baking skills, I'll send you a batch of brownies! Thanks for supporting me and Kelly in our little kitchen adventures! It means so much to us :)

Harvey and Donna

The Suits and Clueless fangirl in me just died. 

Planet Grapes

If you're looking to sprinkle a bit of sophistication to your barkada gimmicks but are intimidated by the swirls and sniffs of wine drinking, then let me introduce you to Planet Grapes. Just as their tagline says "Wine without THE DRAMA", PLANET GRAPES is all about simply enjoying wine without having to be so pretentious about it. It's a classy new hang out spot in Tuscany at Mckinley Hill, brought to you by the team behind Healthy Options and Wine Story. It's open daily from 4pm to 11pm, which means you can drop by for happy hour or make it an after-dinner meet up place. 

To be completely honest, Patrick and I are sissies. We aren't really heavy drinkers and prefer iced tea/fruit smoothies over hard drinks, but when it comes to food pairing---that's when we appreciate WINE. Yes it's still an alcoholic beverage but if it's consumed in moderation with the intent to bring out flavors (as opposed to just getting plastered) in your food, then wine drinking can actually become a very enjoyable experience. 

Planet Grapes boasts of their new Enomatic machines which allows guests to enjoy different types of wines without having to purchase an entire bottle. "Enomatic® systems dispense wine directly from the bottle using revolutionary inert gas preservation. The flavors and characteristics of the wine remain intact for more than three weeks, as if the bottle had just been opened. With portion control technology, Enomatic® allows wine establishments to created extended wine by the glass or tasting menus which are enticing to customers and allow business to maximize servings while eliminating waste." This is perfect for wine newbies, you can get a few sips of different wine variants before you finally find your match. You're able to control your portions as well, allowing you to consume the wine in moderation. 


We were invited to their fun, star-studded launch party last week. It was hosted by eventologist, Tim Yap :) It was very well attended and we learned so much about wines from different regions and wine pairing. Here are some pictures from the event.  Congratulations again to team PLANET G and Mr. Romy Sia :)
This sponsored  post is brought to you by Planet Grapes.
 

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