With temperatures at an all-time high this week, it’s lovely to hear the soft peal of thunder over the hum and buzz of the air conditioning tonight, isn’t it? While it’s still officially summer, I thought tonight’s rainy reprieve might be a cool (pun unintended) time to post something other than the bikinis and maxi dresses that the newsfeeds are currently rife with.
Freezing on board the ferry to Nami Island. We squeezed in the rest of our South Korea itinerary on our last full day, starting with this trip to beautiful Naminara.
I thought I’d do something different for this one.
Japanese Candy contact lenses match the tie-dye headband, no?
Cuff and butterfly ring from a bazaar, Nail It! manicure.
Adam Saaks x Ed Hardy style. Haha. A bit of DIY know-how helps to jazz up your wardrobe every now and then.
I was going to wear the shirt as is, maybe pair it with shorts and knee-high boots or something, but there was a new pair of scissors lying around the house and I was bored. And so…
Photos taken with my iPhone (follow me on Instagram @shailagarde!) I didn’t plan on doing a tutorial and was just taking photos to document my first time to DIY a shirt this way. I basically just cut off whatever I felt like cutting off, stretched the cloth a bit, then weaved the strips together like I used to when I made friendship bracelets in high school. Then I kept cropping the shirt until it was the length I wanted.
So when I put on the shirt, I just grabbed whatever pieces felt right to pair it with. Now I don’t really know how to describe this look. Part-boho, part-rocker, part-casual? Hahaha.
So what do you think? Is it something you’d try? Feel free to leave a comment below, or tweet me @shailagarde :)
“Let it go, it’s not worth it.” The choice between revenge and forgiveness was the theme of last Sunday’s church readings. It’s a universal struggle that anyone, believer or not, can relate to: when we are wronged, the immediate and overwhelming impulse is to seek “justice.” To retaliate and show that we won’t take crap from anyone. Yesterday in particular, Luke describes how Jesus’ friends want so badly to punish the people of Samaria when they refuse to welcome and let him pass through their town to get to Jerusalem. “Want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” James and John offer. Ever cool-headed, he simply tells them to walk away, and they quietly take a detour and move along without the drama.
Of course, when you’re a peace-loving guy who advocates “Turn the other cheek,” conciliatory meekness is the clear choice. For the rest of us though, this often proves difficult. Retreating or giving in is tantamount to admitting defeat. Nobody wants to be a pushover, a coward, a loser. But the point isn’t that we be afraid and let people walk all over us, or that we be martyrs and let people mistreat us even when we have aces up our sleeves and bullets in our barrels that we can use to fight back. The point is that we choose our battles, fight only the ones worth winning and let others “win” the rest.
The point is that we see the bigger picture: a year from now, will it matter? Is it a productive use of our time and effort? Will it make us any happier or less hurt? Betting from experience, the answer is a resounding no. It would simply never end, maybe even get worse. There are people and causes far more substantial and worth pursuing.
Today, the first of July, marks two other firsts: first day on my new job as the media and communications executive of a private corporation, first time to take on work in the corporate world. It’s a perfect mix of what I love about freelance creative work (telling stories, advocating Filipino industries, being in control of my own time), and the perks of a full-time job (financial security, travel opportunities, employment benefits). Looks to be an exciting new chapter to look forward to.
The first half of this year was a roller-coaster ride of uncertainties, realizations and wake-up calls—what precise timing that the second half should begin with things looking up and falling into place.
As it happens, when we prudently walk away from a troubling past and never look back, we give ourselves the gift of a future filled with much, much better things. :)
Photos by Don Michael De Leon of Happyfingers Photography. Outfit details: Essenxa ruffled top, Blanc et Noir paisley pencil skirt, Parisian shoes, SM Accessories. Hype this on Lookbook here, vote on Chictopia here.
A hark back to circa 2009 when I was doing TV production full-time. Had this vest-over-tank top with wristband and sneakers thing going on, and would often be mistaken for someone who plays in a band—specifically bass, for some odd reason.
Would it that I were. The only time I’ve ever been in a band was for a few weeks in senior high school, and only to fill in for a friend who got sick. Plus it was for vocals; I’m fine with YouTube covers but for legit performances, the only instrument I’d be comfortable enough to play would be air guitar.
Band or no band, music has always been a profound part of my life. My mom still has cassette recordings of 3-year-old me singing everything from Whitney Houston to Francis M, as well as little snippets of my grade school “compositions” (i.e. some words strung together haphazardly mostly to make them end in rhymes, sung to a pretty generic melody). Every highlight of my life, every person that bears making a memory of, has their own OST. Strangely enough, in the past couple of years, I had stopped singing, even in private. I barely listened to music by my own choice or for its sheer pleasure. If you checked my iPhone then, there was, as Siri snootily observed, “nothing in your Music library, just… silence.” If you are what you listen to, I was… how shall we put it? Vacant.
I finally got out of that laughable atrocity and got my groove back this year. It feels fascinating to be reunited with the gallimaufry of beats that once occupied my playlists and my soul. I will not use the word “eclectic” for the same reason I avoid the word “bipolar," and say instead that you’ll find Armstrong and Sinatra and Fitzgerald with their contemporaries from the swing band era along with the earnest riffs of Cash, Chapman and Mayer, the anthems of Marley, Queen and Journey (way, way, way before Glee, thanks to my dad) along with the happy comfort of Hillsong United, Manoling Francisco and Velvet Underground, and the sweeping symphonies of centuries-old Tchaikovsky, Bach and Beethoven along with movie soundtracks and Top 40 hits of recent billboard charts. I’ve started singing again. In the shower, while driving, at karaoke, in front of crowds, on YouTube. I’ve also gone back to self-learning basic music. Could girl-in-a-band turn from mistaken assumption into reality? Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.
Outfit details: Landmark tank top, YRYS vest, Human skirt, SM Accessories cuff.
We all have those days when things just feel slightly off-kilter for no apparent reason. You wake up with a weird fluttering in your stomach, and it’s not caused by the previous night’s sushi nor the good morning text your crush just sent you. It’s a sinking feeling, the cause of which you can’t really pinpoint—or maybe you can, and it’s just these minor annoyances clumped up into a big stress ball. So how do you quash that feeling?
You look on the bright side of things. Yes, it sounds patronizingly trite, but it’s also tried and true. One of my best friends, Joanne, would always tell me something to that effect whenever I would go to her for things that bothered me. “Life is beautiful, Shai! I won’t allow you to wallow when there is so much to be thankful for!” I used to feel bad at how she wouldn’t join me in my life’s lamentations. When we’re young, we tend to shrug off these things and be oh-so-dramatic about our woes instead of choosing to be positive.
But then it occurred to me that she’s one of the happiest, perkiest persons in my life and thought I’d give her attitude of gratitude a sincere try. Whenever an imaginary dark cloud loomed, I would list down every single thing I’m thankful for. Not just the significant, mind-blowing, life-altering ones, but even the most mundane (the amount of milk I poured was just enough to finish my Koko Krunch, all the stoplights I passed today were green, the barista spelled my name right on the cup) and those we sometimes take for granted (I arrived at my day’s destination safely, the elevator didn’t get stuck while I was alone inside, the waiter brought me water without being asked).
It’s one of those practices that are childishly basic and stupefyingly logical, yet a struggle to get the hang of. There are times when writing down all those thank you’s feels like the last thing I want to do. But cliches are nothing if not notorious tenets of simple wisdom: the more I rebel against it, the deeper I sink into a rut. The more I keep at it, the better everything starts to seem. These days more than ever, I’ve come to know that while we will always be besieged with trials, we will also never run out of things to brighten our days once we start looking. ♥
As you may or may have not noticed in the first and second, there’s an undercurrent of green in this trilogy. I took it upon myself to work with three musts. First, the outfits must be from pieces I already own (you’ll see this dress in a future post; I wore it on the HK/Macau holiday). Second, the outfits must call to mind words like summer, fresh, carefree, happy and young. And third, I must not take more than three hours from styling, to makeup and hair, to shooting everything. I like playing little games like that. Haha.
I was able to put together and shoot all three in one afternoon, and my awesome photographer (Hi Mama!) did an amazing job as usual. It was quick and so much fun!
Don’t let the height of these lace-wrapped wedges fool you. They’re quite easy to walk in! I tried dancing in them as well and I think with a little more practice, they’re a good enough compromise for the vertically challenged who don’t want to wear flats to the festival.
Let me know what you have in mind for your Summer Solstice outfit, or ask me style-related questions, here! Oh, and which one’s your favorite among the three? :)
Best thing about this season? You can wear your favorite hues and pretty much get away with it. I just love color!
This is what I wore to a casual meeting today. Since it was a hot afternoon, I thought I’d go all summery chic, wear a lot of brights and bare a little skin.
Speaking of bare, I didn’t have the time or patience to do full-on makeup, so I just brushed on a little blush, put on some red lipstick and left the rest of my face alone. There’s a lot going on in my outfit already, plus sunnies make great concealers anyway. Haha.
Pulled my hair into a messy bun because it’s the easiest lazy hair style to pull off, especially when your hair is the naturally wavy type that doesn’t like to be combed.
I was never a fan of sunny days, but I noticed that a lot of the things I used to like and not like have been evolving. Lately, I’ve been thinking of the sun as something to look forward to.
The Power Plant boutique of Cole Haan became filled with pretty lights, good music, fun food and great company on October 25, the brand’s Fall/Winter Launch Party. Taking the spotlight was the Women’s LunarGrand Wingtip Collection.
Dark Brown Suede/Orange, Navy Suede/Topaz and Gull Grey Suede/Volt. Everyone loves their brogues for sleek style and comfort, but these ones are simply as far out as their name.
Also in LunarGrand Wingtips were two very familiar girls: models Julia Sniegowski and Helena Belmonte.
Runway Dreams floral bustier top, The Catwalk long white skirt, SM Department Store striped socks, Crocs mini wedges, Chemistry bangle, Antler Accessories necklace, sunnies from Divisoria. Hype this on Lookbook here.
This week’s cheap finds for both guys and girls come in bright, bright red. SM Accessories bag, Quirkypedia eyeglasses, The Belle Soeurs bangles. All you really need to accessorize any simple outfit—probably best to avoid same-color clothes and shoes though.
Taken with Instagram - @shailagarde
SM Accessories shades and bracelets, Quirkypedia eyeglasses. It’s rare for me to find men’s accessories in red that aren’t too rugged or too loud, so whenever I find something casual and sleek, I make sure to grab it. Best worn with just shirt and jeans for an easy vibe.
Taken with Instagram - @sephcham
Yes, you can pick random stuff from your closet, tie your hair haphazardly, wear no makeup and still blog about it. Blind Clothing floral dress, Ziggy & Zooey zebra print flats, Martina-Martina tribal-inspired necklace, Chemistry bangles. Hype this on Lookbook here.
Another day in Cebu! The best thing about this city is everything’s within walking distance. On this day, we went for a walk to Ayala Center and dropped by the Cebu branches two of our favorite stores here in Manila: Complex and Skechers.
Mixing a lot of colors and ideas into one outfit. I tend to do this particularly whenever we’re doing some sort of athletic or sporty chic look, like today. It’s the easiest look to style—simply don’t style it. Haha!
I love how these Quirkypedia accessories instantly make things… well, quirky! Contact lenses from Japanese Candy. A couple of Koreans actually came up to me in the mall and asked me for directions.
I didn’t really pre-style the items I brought to Cebu, but it was a good thing I brought this top from Style Hub. It’s got this cool jersey-type detail that to go with the sporty shoes. As for the Chemistry belt and shoes—so versatile! You’re sure to see them lots more times in my outfit posts.
Forever a fan of candy colors! It doesn’t really matter whether the colorblocking, neon and athletic-chic looks are in season; whenever I feel like going for a happy look, it’s candy colors for me.
Of course, walking burns calories (and makes tummies grumble). Seph loves Mexican food, and we had heard of a café in Ayala Center Cebu serving just that. It’s called Mooon, and that’s where we headed to grab a bite. Beef burrito, anyone?
Mooon Café’s interiors are also Mexican-inspired. Beautiful wall, isn’t it? We wanted to take more photos of the surroundings, but the place was filled with so many people and we didn’t want to disturb their lunch. More photos on Mooon’s Facebook page.
Thanks to the staff of Complex and Skechers.