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5 Dresses That Will Never Go Out Of Style

September 29, 2016

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In today's fast-changing fashion market, one cannot help but be disenchant by the ever changing styles and fleeting trends.  Short-lived romances with clothing pieces that we thought were key items in our arsenal proved to be more disheartening than a broken nail.  Take it from me cos it's a true story.
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Here now, gone tomorrow-- a phrase too common in fast fashion, something that I'm sure all us have indulged in at one point or another.  It is also something that I wish to outgrow-- this urge to give in to fast fashion (and totally regretting it after) with the hopes of developing a keen eye for determining which style is timeless and which isn't.

I am slowly purging my closet of all these brief encounters with trends and replacing them with classic pieces that are sure to stand the test of time.  There's a surprisingly long list of timeless pieces that one can invest in, and dresses, from maxis to minis, top this list.

Here are 5 dress styles that I believe will transcend time and trends ;)

SHIRT DRESS
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This is a perennial favorite and I just can't have enough of this easy to pull off ensemble.  Be it a mini, midi or maxi, a shirt dress can take you from day to night.  Just switch things up a bit by changing your accessories, your lipstick shade and your shoes and you will find yourself from the office straight to your favorite wine bar.

WRAP & WRAP AROUND DRESS
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Wrap dresses are making a huge comeback thanks to Diane Von Furstenberg's deep devotion to this most figure-flattering clothing piece known to mankind.  Take this from day to work, this versatile and fuss-free style is perfect for any occasion!

A-LINE DRESS
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The one dress style that I basically grew up in.  I got my mom's love for sundresses and a cousin fanned the flames even more by buying me textiles and taking me to the dressmaker every chance she gets.  This style accentuates your figure by flaring at the waist, giving off that sweet, feminine vibe and the perfect cut ends just right above the knee.  Too pretty a style to just own one piece!

SHIFT DRESS
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Your only ticket to mod retro styling, the shift dress screams Twiggy and Jackie Kennedy.  I've said this before and I will say it again, Simplicity is the shift dress' middle name but its understated elegance and vintage vibe resonates in every inch of this easy to pull-off dress style.

MAXI DRESS
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Who doesn't love them and who doesn't own one?  This gorgeous silhouette looks good on anyone and can be styled in so many ways.  Whether you're going for the dramatic floral frocks or a visual play of geometric prints or just go minimal in monochromatic looks, this silhouette never fails to translate understated and effortless styling.

Scouring the web for these covetable clothing pieces, I chanced upon Lyst, a shopping haven for girls looking for stylish and elegant dresses.  For the perfect 9-5 look, you will find both casual and formal dresses that are right up your alley.  Check out their wide selection of gorgeous dresses and keep your wallet within easy reach!  I'm sure you won't close that tab without a purchase!

Happy Shopping!

Electro Beach Festival: The White Party at Ibiza Beach Club

September 25, 2016

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The biggest dance music event in Mactan makes a splashing comeback to open the month of October. Taking the world-class nightlife outdoors, Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu’s Ibiza Beach Club, known as the region’s most hip and happening venue for lifestyle dining and high-energy entertainment, is staging another one of its successful Electro Beach Festival, now also dubbed as The White Party.

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Set to happen on 1 October 2016, Saturday, the electronic dance music event is expected to gather about 1,000 party-philes from 3.00 pm to 11.00 pm. Comparable to the previous EDM parties, this event is projected to bring not only new excitement amongst locals and visiting guests, but also significant attention to Mactan island as a party and leisure destination in Cebu.

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Renowned Japanese DJ, Daiki Wakabayashi, returns to Cebu for this event, which will showcase back-to-back sets of high octane beats by other international DJs on deck, such as Tora, OGaMixxX, Shibuchin, Kamiyama Seigo, Toshiki and Cookie. The Ibiza show team will also take centre stage with some of their daring fire exhibitions to thrill the crowd.

Tickets are sold at an early bird rate of PHP 600 nett per person. Regular rate of PHP 1,000 nett per person applies for tickets bought on the day of the event.

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Guests and urbanites can also make the most of their visit to the island by taking advantage of the hotel's Day Use + Beach Party package, offered exclusively on 1 October 2016. Priced at only PHP 1,200 nett per person, guests get to enjoy complimentary use of the hotel's swimming pool, beach and gym, as well as receive a beach party pass.

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The Electro Beach Festival is hosted by Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu and Ibiza Beach Club, in partnership with Cebu.20z.

All Black Everything

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I am not one to don an all-black outfit on the daily.  I used to shy away from it because I always thought it looked rather "harsh" and unforgiving on my 90-lb twenties self.  That practice stuck with me well into my early thirties, thinking that I'm better off with blues and grays-- colors that don't highlight my frail and lanky self.  That has been my belief until reality a.k.a. motherhood smacked me real hard to snap me back to reality.  Curves, bulges, gains-- basically, the whole nine yards.  Two years after giving birth to Vania, I grew hips the size of a soccer field, developed arm and thigh muscles fats making me lose that ridiculously hyped thigh gap.  While this could be a cause of concern for some, this new development thrilled me, somehow.  Hey, I could already wear tops that show a little of my décolletage without feeling self-conscious of my bony chest!  That in itself is an accomplishment. Ha!

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While wearing an all-black outfit can be one-dimensional, it doesn't necessarily have to be boring.  For an all-back outfit to look put together or to stand out even, one must remember 5 important things in pulling off this look.
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1. Always make sure that the fabric is season appropriate.  Nothing is more uncomfortable than wearing knitted textile in the dead of summer or chiffon in the middle of winter (in other parts of the world) or in our case, during the monsoon season.  Always be particular of the fabric.

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2.  Black is slimming, choose items that flaunt/flatter your asset/s.  You'd want to stay away from pieces that are too loose, too long or those with unflattering cuts as they may make you look dowdy instead of looking put together.  Always go for well-fitted and flattering clothing pieces, bare just the right amount skin and flaunt your assets without going overboard.  Finding balance is key.
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3.  Play with textures.  Keep the look interesting by playing with textures-- fringe, suede, pleats, embellished, lace- to not make it look too plain and boring.
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4.  Accessorise.  If you're not a fan of prints and patterns, then go big on accessories.  Statement earrings, chunky necklaces or a bright patterned bag or clutch-- things that add more flair to your monochromatic look.  
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5.  Makeup matters.  Complete the overall look by complementing your makeup.  Dark lipstick on an all-black ensemble would be appropriate for nighttime wear while nude lips on dewy skin would be most suitable for your daytime look.  Your makeup can make or break your all-black outfit.  Always find balance.
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DressLily Retro Style Metal Frame Pink Mirrored Sunglasses

For this all-black daytime wear, I opted to wear minimal accessories and flats suitable for days when I'm jaunting around town running errands.  And of course, chic sunglasses to complete the look and protect my peepers.  This retro style thick-rimmed mirrored sunglasses from DressLily was love at first sight.  I've been on the prowl for thick-rimmed sunglasses hopping from one mall to another hoping to score one in this particular style.  Luckily, DressLily has them in different styles and frame finish that I just couldn't myself but get two.  This one in rectangular frame, the other one in aviator style which I will be sharing in my next post.

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DressLily Thick-rimmed sunglasses | Prima Jewels Earrings and necklace | Pandora bangle
Wardrobe Switch top & pleated culottes | H&M slides | Kate Spade bag

I hope you guys are having a fun-filled weekend! 'til my next post! 

Kids Study Nook feat. DressLily Wall Stickers

September 24, 2016

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Our house is a constant work in progress.  Every time my husband is home for a vacation, we make it a point to have something done or redone.  Just recently, we added a new shelf to my closet, changed a lot of light fixtures around the house, DIY-ed a mason jar ceiling lamp for our powder room, added new shelves in our shoe closet, gave our dirty kitchen a total makeover, added hanging shelves in our main kitchen and changed our house fence & gate.  These are all new home improvement projects, all done in the span of 2.5 months the husband was here for a vacation.

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But one area of the house that is a constant and i mean constant (cannot stress it enough) work in progress is Vania's little nook in the master's bedroom.  We've had talks about moving her study space to her own bedroom because I've been wanting to change our bed for the longest time but for a lot of reasons concerning Vania, we just couldn't do it.  She loves her little space too much that she's already claimed it for her own, telling me that she doesn't want to study in the second room because that's for her toys only.  So here we are again, revamping her study nook-- the third time now since we moved here in 2013.  

If you've read my previous entry about her spruced up little corner, you'll know that I love working with wall decals or stickers.  It is something that I've been obsessing about ever since I read an article featuring wallpapers + decals in a bedroom some time in the 90s.

BEFORE
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AFTER
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THE PROJECT
Because Vania started going to school this year, the husband and I decided to add shelves for all her books, study materials and some toys.  The shelves my husband built from scratch is made of marine plywood, spray-painted with white and made to dry for 5 days before installing it in the bedroom.

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For the sticker design, I did not want something big like before because that would mean crowding the whole space what with Vania's books, baskets, bags and toys.  It took me a while to decide but when I came across this DressLily chic owl pattern wall sticker, I knew I had to get it.  The dimension is perfect for an overhead accent, the colors are so fun and girly, and it matches the overall feel of her study nook!  They have other designs that I would probably get in the future should I wish to revamp again this little space.  And because they're really affordable and DressLily offers free shipping for eligible purchases, one can change wall stickers as much as they want or buy them as housewarming gifts for friends and family!

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And because my dad's fascination with anything owl has finally rubbed off on us, we're slowly putting up a little aviary for our wise little friends over here ;)

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Got a room makeover you wish to share? Sound off in the comments section below, would love to know all about it!

Jewel Tones

September 18, 2016

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There is something about these rich and saturated fall colors that make them very luxurious and distinct.  Case in point: this beautifully paired sapphire blue and burnt orange stripes Zaful side-slit palazzo pants.  While I used to stay away from dark colors, always preferring light earth tones and the perennial favorite white, rich blues have been my go-to color for occasions requiring me to wear anything dark.  
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Unbeknown to most of us, jewel tones are a family of colors that look good on everyone.  Whether you're fair, olive, medium or dark skinned, there is always that one jewel hue that will compliment your skin tone.  
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From sapphire blue, to emerald green, to ruby red and amethyst, jewel tones has the ability to make you look regal, glowing and sophistiqué.  You can opt to wear jewel tones piece by piece or go big and bold by wearing a whole new look in jewel tones for maximum impact.  
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If you're not ready to experiment, always remember to stick to clothing styles that are clean and uncomplicated so as not to make the whole outfit look busy and incohesive.
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Complimented the whole look with my red orange bag and black slides to neutralise the bold colors.  For this royal blue look, you may opt to skip your accessories/jewelries like what I did here or go gold in chic minimalist designs.  Either way, you are sure to fire up this already regal palette.
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Forever21 halter top | Zaful side-slit palazzo pants | H&M slides | Rebecca Minkoff bag

Five Fun Things To Do In Cebu

September 16, 2016

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Living in a city where the beach or mountainside is just an hour drive away is a luxury in itself.  On weekends when you want to destress, there's always Mactan for its resorts and beaches, both budget-friendly and upscale Cebu hotels, for you to lounge the day away or stay overnight in.  If you're looking into breathing fresh mountain air, Busay or Balamban is just 30 minutes away from the city center.  But if you're up for some adventure, going on a road trip to northern or southern Cebu will never disappoint, too.
A photo posted by Toni Pino-Oca (@tonipino) on

If you're visiting and looking for activities that you can do with your family to while away the time, here are five must-do things in Cebu.

1. ISLAND HOPPING
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Ask anyone from Cebu where they usually take their guests/visitors and their answers would always include island hopping in Mactan.  Nalusuan Fish Sanctuary, Hilutungan, San Vicente or Pandanon, your choice of any of the four or you can ask for package tours from travel agencies or even straight from the boatmen.  Being very accessible, this tops the list of tourists and tour guides alike.  And while you're there, don't miss out on the opportunity to go on a...

2. FOOD TRIP
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..on a floating restaurant situated right off the coast of Olango Island which is known for its wildlife sanctuary.  Expect to feast on fresh catch and dine while being serenaded by an in-house acoustic band.

3. SNORKEL

A photo posted by Toni Pino-Oca (@tonipino) on
What better way to appreciate the island or sea than to go underwater? No island hopping tour is ever complete without snorkelling and this tops my list of must-do things during Summer.  Whether you snorkel or free dive, do not leave the island without ticking this off your list.  Most cebu hotels offer island hopping + snorkelling tours with packages covering most places I mentioned in number 2.

4. ROAD TRIP
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Balamban.  Inhale fresh mountain air, buy fresh produce, EAT SWEETCORN and visit the famous Sirao Flower Farm.  Should you wish to go on a mountain retreat and stay for a night or two, there are also a number of cebu hotels in the area that caters to both budget and luxury travellers. 
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Tuburan. Dip in cold water at Molobo Springs-- one of the many renowned springs here in Cebu.  Whether you go up north or down south, there's a fat chance that you're going to stumble upon a beautiful beach, a hidden gem of a natural wonder that is a spring, or even find both. 
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CAMOTES. Go a land trip and find yourself in the long stretch of wide sand at Santiago Bay in Camotes. From clean public beaches to secluded hideaways to enchanting caves, a day trip is never enough.

4.) VISIT OLD CHURCHES
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A photo posted by Toni Pino-Oca (@tonipino) on

Visit the Basilica or go on another road trip and visit Spanish-era churches. One being registered as one of the Philippines' National Cultural Treasures is the Parish Church of Patrocinio de Maria in Boljoon, Cebu.

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I find the churches in the south more appealing because most of them preserved their historical value. And their belfries, please, can we talk about how beautiful their belfries are?

5.) CATCH A SUNSET, A SUNRISE
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A good friend once shared that whenever she is in a new place either for work or leisure, she makes it a point to always catch a sunset or a sunrise. She's dedicated a whole album of it on her social and it is both inspiring and heartwarming. It's a good reminder that we live in a beautiful world and each day is a blessing.
A photo posted by Toni Pino-Oca (@tonipino) on

Whether you catch the sunset on a park atop a mall or the sunrise while on the road to your beach destination, never go without stopping for even just a minute to soak in its beauty.

A day trip to Cebu is never enough so it helps that there are a lot of upscale and budget cebu hotels to help you plan your vacation in the Queen of the South.  Whether you're staying in Mactan, in the city proper or the outskirts of Cebu, you are sure to find a place that suits your budget and style :)

Do share your favorite Cebu hotels and destinations, old or new, and sound off in the comments box below, would love to know! ;)

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