Dodecanese Boulevard, Tarpon Springs

Here is the second half of our Tarpon Springs photos taken mostly on Dodecanese Boulevard. This section of Tarpon Springs is filled with colorful brick-walled shops that look like something out of a film set. No wonder they chose the district as the location for the movie Beneath the 12-Mile Reef in 1953.

Read More

Finish Line

I’m back in Naga City to witness my brother’s graduation at Ateneo de Naga University. Everyone who knew us intimately knows why this is such a momentous occasion for our family. Despite his shortcomings (because honestly, who doesn’t have one?), my brother is the most selfless person I know; he sacrificed a lot for our family to survive–and I respect him for that. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for his sacrifices.

IMGP1342

I could not recall how many times I felt depressed when things don’t go according to plan. I have this 10-year plan I drafted after finishing college–a list of things I should accomplish before I turn 30. 5 years have passed and I’ve only done about 20% of that list. Before I would often feel disappointed at myself for not being able to follow ‘the plan’, and it didn’t do me any good.

IMGP1332

Slowly I began to accept that life is too uncertain, it’s impossible for us to control everything. One person told me I should be thankful that at least I know what I want in life and that I’ve done something worthwhile with it. After hearing those words, I began to relax and take things less seriously and welcome spontaneity.

IMGP1335

If my brother was able to face life despite the fate he experienced, why should a simple mishap like derailed plans stop me from living?

IMGP1338

IMGP1366

EZRA dress from Zalora | MANGO quilted bag | TWINKY heels |  SM Department Store sunnies

IMGP1354

These photos were taken at Ateneo, my alma mater. I remember how happy I was when I marched through the four pillars and received my hard-earned diploma. Unlike many others, I wasn’t afraid of what lay ahead. I was eager to start working on my future. There was no ounce of fear, just hope.

IMGP1364

My mom taught us not to feel bitter towards life during difficult times, instead be grateful for they teach us how to be brave and strong. Of course, mothers know best. 🙂

IMGP1355

Hype this look on

lookbook

and

chictopia

Sea Frolic

Happy new year everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and start to this new year, like I did. I know I’ve been pretty silent ootd-wise the past month, so I’m beginning my 2014 post with this outfit I wore on Christmas day at my mom’s hometown. If you follow me on Instagram though, I know you’ve seen this dress, which I also wore at my cousin’s wedding at Fernwood Gardens. My December was filled with family gatherings and traveling so I didn’t have a chance to blog properly, but I sure did enjoy the time I spent with my family and friends.

IMGP0331
Every Christmas day, it has become some sort of a family tradition that we all (and by all I mean with the whole extended family) gather around and exchange gifts. So my mom, sister, and I traveled to Tinambac for the event. When I and my siblings were kids, we always looked forward to Christmas Day because it’s the only time we get to receive presents. My aunts and uncles are the kindest and most generous people I know, they never forgot about us during holidays like this. But now that most of us have grown up and have jobs, we’re now the ones in charge of giving gifts to the younger generation:

gift
My very cute, toothless cousins’ twinkling eyes and wide smiles when they got their presents were priceless. My sister and I were flat broke after, but it didn’t matter knowing that we made the children’s Christmas memorable. After all, giving is the true meaning of Christmas.

IMGP0365
Before sunset, we decided to go to the beach, which was only 5 minutes away. It’s been a while since we last visited the place. I had fond memories of that beach, back when it was still clean and regularly maintained. Right now it only serves as port for fishermen’s boats so you’ll see lots of garbage lying around. 🙁

IMGP0318
Good thing we found a clean spot for outfit photos! Please excuse the eyebags and unkempt hair. I told you my schedule was heeeectic I didn’t even have enough time to sleep and comb my hair. Lol

IMGP0329
IMGP0357

Dress from bazaar | Pill shoes from Zalora |  Dorothy Perkins bag

IMGP0381
Thanks to my sister for taking my photos and to my makulit cousin and mom for assisting us. Some dog pissed on a bag containing my belongings while we were shooting and next thing I knew my mom was chasing the dog. Lol. I seriously love the fact that my mother is very supportive of me. I know she’s already very confused of what I want to do with my life but she never complains. I love you, mom! 🙂

CAM02485

Sunset at the beach is the most wonderful thing in the world, don’t you think?

Hype this look on

and

chictopia

A Store for Every Girl

When people ask me what my style is, I usually don’t know how to answer. I dress depending on my mood so I cannot exactly identify my personal style. What I do know is I’m an avid fan of comfortable fashion. I commute everyday so I make sure that the pieces I wear do not restrict movement, thus I would usually go for soft, loose tops and pants; sometimes girly dresses and skirts when I’m feeling sad and happy–like this floral skirt from Fashion Diaries PH.

1472031_634681029903978_1104389815_n

The store also has varied affordable pieces for different girls. Sophisticated party girls will look dazzling in these metallic tops and dresses.

1424406_636178236420924_1788810505_n

Kid-at-heart girls who are attracted to cute, cartoon-inspired sweaters may like Fashion Diaries PH’s collection of pullovers:

1474402_630601513645263_1189233499_n

Strong, independent girls will definitely like this edgy but classy look from one of the store’s catalogs:

1463191_623574044348010_2117967012_n

These are just few of the many styles you can find at Fashion Diaries PH. I am encouraging you to check them out on Facebook and Instagram and I’m 100% sure you won’t regret it.

***

Don’t forget to join our Holiday 2013 giveaway! 🙂

Shimmer and Shine: Ten Fashion Looks That Light Up Your Christmas

During the festive seasons, there are dinners, happy hours and get-togethers with friends and family, all crammed within a few short weeks in November and December. Of course, you cannot forget the office party, which has made a comeback after years of being shelved due to the financial crisis. With all these invitations, it’s difficult to fit them all in your oversubscribed schedule.

You also want to want to make a good impression when you attend these events. Finding just the right Christmas party dresses can be a real challenge. Fortunately you have numerous choices that allow you to stand out whether you’re schmoozing with your boss at the office party or snuggling with that special someone over an intimate dinner for two.289975501

The Little Black Dress

It’s difficult to go wrong with the iconic little black dress. The little black dress can go effortlessly from office to the club. Whether you go with bare shoulders or crushed velvet, there is an LBD that has your name on it.

The Little Red Dress

With all the gray skies and slushy snow, the winter could do with a little color. Stand out from the sea of black in a little red dress. When you wear a little red dress, you will automatically command attention – perhaps even from your longtime crush.

The Little Gold Dress

When the invitation says “festive attire” and you want to look elegant without going for a full-length ball gown, what are your options? A little gold dress could be just the ticket. Sweep your hair into an elegant updo, add simple jewelry and shoes and you’re done.

Elegant Long Dresses and Skirts

For those white tie and black tie occasions, only an elegant long dress will do. You can wow the crowd in a sweeping ball gown in black, red or a beautiful jewel tone. Or opt for a body skimming sheath with a discreet slit to show just a flash of your legs.

Shimmery Tops and Skirts or Slacks

For a festive look suitable for less formal occasions, choose a shimmery or glittery top. Pair it with a short or long skirt to mimic the look of a cocktail dress. Or pair your top with slacks and a jacket to keep away the chill while maintaining a festive look.

Dressing for the Office Holiday Party

289542593The key to proper dress for the office holiday party dressing for the office party is to remember each of the two words: office and party. It is still a work-related affair. This means that plunging necklines, too short hemlines and too-tight anything are off limits. On the other hand, it’s a party, so you are expected to dress up. Translation: a little black dress that hits a few inches above the knee is fine. A skimpy black number cut to the navel and barely covering your bum? Not so much.

Pajamas: Not Just for Bedtime

Of course, you would never roll out of bed and show up at a party wearing your pajamas. Or would you?  Beautiful gold-colored gowns with a satiny sheen, or silky pajama bottoms in black or a jewel-toned color can absolutely make their way to your next occasion, and no one would ever suspect.

Crushed Velvet

Few fabrics are as inherently luxurious as velvet. Whether you opt for a black velvet dress or a crushed velvet jacket, you instantly look dressed up no matter what else you are wearing. A velvet skirt and jacket are ideal for a sit down dinner party. While black is always appropriate, crushed velvet also looks glamorous in jewel tones like green or blue. Red or even gold crushed velvet jackets are eye-catching when matched with black skirts or pants. White velvet is a lovely alternative for daytime affairs.

Leather

For elegance with a bit of an edgy appeal, rescue your leather skirt from the back of the closet. Pair it with a silky top or a soft angora sweater and you will look sexy and elegant all at once. Dress up a leather jacket by pairing it with smooth wool slacks and a glittery top. Plain pumps or flats to match the jacket complete the look.

Ugly Sweaters

Yes, ugly sweater parties are all the rage. From reindeer-covered creations to colors that seem to have been inspired by a fever dream, the motto for ugly sweater parties is the uglier, the better.  The best part of an ugly sweater party invite is that you likely already have suitable attire stashed in the back of your closet.

Sophie West studies style design. She enjoys blogging about flattering fashion and beautiful looks.

Guest post.