2018 Blog Refresh & Giveaway Announcement

New post, who dis? Happy New Year, guys! It’s been a few weeks since you last heard from us due to the holidays and LIFE in general. We hope you guys got some QT in with loved ones as well and enjoyed yourselves during the last weeks of 2017. How is the new year treating you thus far? As for us, it’s off to a good start though we’re happy to be back blogging. We know we first introduced ourselves as a lifestyle blog but after much thought, we strongly felt like our niche was in food, travel and culture as noticeable in a majority of our posts. It’s pretty much what we do all the time so why not just keep the focus on that, right? This means we’re in a revamping stage but get excited as we’ll be posting more delicious restaurant eats, travel diaries (including local day trips) and more stuff about our culture and US on a personal level. Hit the subscribe button so you never miss a post!

Lastly, we can’t end the post without thanking you for making our Holiday Giveaway a success! I hope it was fun for you all as it was fun for us. We used a random name generator and announced via Instagram Stories. Below are the winners whom we’ve contacted already. There was a bit of a delay in mailing the prizes but you all should be receiving them shortly 🙂

Day 1 West Elm Throw – C. Navarrete

Day 2 Munchpak – R. Salonga

Day 3 Thermal mug & DAVIDsTEA – M. Reyna

Day 4 Sephora Play Beauty Box – M. Songsprit

Day 5 Google Home Mini – No valid entries. We will redo the giveaway as a lottery draw soon!

Thanks again for all your support. Write to us! We’re very active on our social media channels so follow along there as well 🙂

xo,

Jamie + Mestelle

All We Want For Christmas Is . . . (Holiday 2017 Wishlist)

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We’re making our list and checking it twice because this year, we want all things pretty & nice! Most of this cute stuff is for the home and you’ll see a couple of textures we’re obsessed with like marble, geometric patterns and faux fur. Baby, it’s cold outside so why not snuggle up in a Faux Mongolian Fur Throw? We also included items for the new year like a calendar, a planner (the obvi) but we’re also thinking fitness goals like running in some Adidas Sneakers and drinking more water with a handy bkr water bottle. If you’re into plants, but not taking care of them, succulents are the way to go.  We love Lula’s Garden box of little assorted succulents which you can keep as is or place in a geometric terrarium. Some other standouts are just for pimping out your vanity table with a faux fur stool, trinket tray, jewelry box and a luxe candle from Jo Malone London. Everything is reasonably priced and we’re sure that any girl would want something from this page!

What is on your wish list this year?


Fur Round Stool
Brass Geo Terrarium
2018 Calendar
SF Illustrated Art Print
Petite Shea Butter Trio
Cheetah Print Faux

Fur Coat

Porcelain Trinket Tray
Porcelain Jewelry Box
Jewel Garden

Rose Gold Silverware Set
Umbra Prisma Tray
A Toast To The Host
Elisa Pendant Necklace

Luxe Hydration Trio

Hexagon Marble Coasters

Marble & Copper Cake Stand

17-Month Classic Agenda

Glass Water Bottle

Noir Scented Candle
Letterfolk Board

Bobbi Brown

Beauty Manual

Whiskey Words and A Shovel

Taylor Swift Reputation CD

Rose 3 Piece Candy

Bento Box

Round Side Table in
Gold/Marble

Faux Mongolian Fur Throw

Swift Run Sneaker
Smart Transport

Leather Crossbody

Personal Story: 80° is the Perfect Temperature

“Why is it so hot here?” my husband complained. While wiping a bit of sweat off of his forehead, he walked over to the thermostat.

“It’s 80°!” he exclaimed once he saw the thermostat reading.

“What are you talking about? 80° is the perfect temperature,” I said. “Just lower it to 75° or something.”

“I’m lowering it to 70°.”

“Fine,” I relented and then took a sweater from the closet and reluctantly wore it.

Winters in San Francisco can get chilly going down into the 40s. This may not seem that cold to people who live in the East Coast of the US or other places where it snows. However, the wind chill makes up for that. There’s nothing like waiting for the Muni bus in downtown SF, wearing a thick long coat, with hands in my pockets, scarf wrapped around my neck while the wind blasts it’s cold breathe onto me. As my mother says “ang lamig nang hangin, pumumunta sa buto,” or in English, the wind is so cold that it gets into your bones, is the closest thing to describing it. The temperature dropped significantly in the past few days so the last thing I would want is to go home to a freezing apartment.

Growing up, my family would rarely turn on the central heating in order to save money. To combat the cold at home, my brother and I would dress in layers wearing fleece sweaters and sweats and socks. My mother wore a puff jacket over her vest, on top of her sweater, on top of her shirt along with long pants with socks. And to complete the outfit, a yellow beanie with a pompom at the top. My father would wear the same thick black jacket everywhere around the house. You would think that we were spending a weekend skiing at Lake Tahoe if you saw us.

Although we wore layer upon layer upon layer just to feel comfortable at home, it wasn’t enough. Thankfully, we could use space heaters so my mother, brother and I each had our own. My mother had the Presto Heat Dish Plus brand bought from Costco that resembled a fan but without the rotating blades. It would change colors from a dim orange to a bright glowing orange to indicate each setting from low to high. The high setting would be too hot that it felt like it was burning your face so it would have to be adjusted to the medium setting. But, the medium setting wasn’t hot enough so it had to be readjusted back to the high setting. It was a viscous cycle since there was no comfortable in between. However, it was good enough for her so she would transport it around the house to each room that she would be occupying. My brother, on the other hand, would just keep it in his room. My father didn’t have one but would on occasion share the Presto when his thick black jacket wouldn’t suffice.

For me, my space heater was like a loyal pet that was always at my side. Just like my mother, whether I would be eating dinner at the kitchen, watching tv in the living room or taking a shower, I would take it with me, constantly plugging and unplugging it at each destination. I would even pre-heat my room a good 15-minutes before I slept so it would be nice and cozy and only turn it off right before going to bed. In the mornings, I would hold up the clothes I would wear for the day in front of the space heater so that they would be warm and toasty when I put them on. Yes, that’s going a bit too far but I tend to always be cold. You know that friend who always wears a jacket indoors and is always shivering when they step outside, well that’s me. 
The moment I moved out of my parents home, I proclaimed, just like Like Vivien Leigh in “Gone With The Wind” when she said those famous words, “as God is my witness,” I vowed to never be cold in my own home ever again. But, I guess I’ll compromise with 70°.

-Jamie

All I Want For Christmas Holiday Playlist

Christmas is just around the corner and what better way to kickoff the month of December than with some Christmas songs. How many of you had Alvin and the Chipmunks albums on repeat or have a dad that loves listening to classic crooners like Andy Williams or Johnny Mathis? Well, we compiled a list of our favorite songs, in no particular order, that we grew up listening to. Whether you’re wrapping presents, sipping some hot chocolate beside the fireplace or decorating that Christmas tree, enjoy singing to these songs for some holiday cheer!

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Beauty, Fashion, Home & Tech Ideas for Black Friday & Cyber Monday Shopping!

[Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site running and ad free. Thank you for your support!]

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! It’s that time of the year again with Black Friday and Cyber Monday around the corner. Here are some of our handpicked beauty, fashion, accessories, tech and home items to give you ideas for shopping this weekend.

Bloomingdale’s
Sale $90.30 Reg. $129.00


Adidas Stan Smith Shoes
Adidas

Sale $50.00 Reg. $100.00

Macy’s
Sale $136.80 Reg. $228.00
Macy’s
Sale $159.00 Reg. $400.00

Nordstrom
Sale $229.90 Reg. $348.00
Nordstrom
Sale $119.93 Reg. $179.00
Nordstrom

Sale $45.00 Reg. $75.00

Macy’s
Sale $39.99 Reg. $139.00

Sale $74.25 Reg. $99.00

Bloomingdale’s
Sale $168.75 Reg. $225.00

Sunglass Hut
Sale $99.99 Reg. $179.98
Nordstrom
Sale $206.50 Reg. $295.00

Bloomingdale’s
Sale $227.50 Reg. $325.00
Nordstrom
Sale $35.00 Reg. $50.00

Macy’s
Sale $49.00 Reg. $79.00
Best Buy
Sale $349.99 Reg. $449.99

Macy’s
Sale $99.95 Reg. $149.99

Nordstrom
Sale $48.75 Reg. $65.00

Personal Story: No Outside Food Allowed

“No Outside Food Allowed,” was emblazoned on the flyer. I was in the back seat when I popped my head between the two front seats to take a quick a peek at what the parking attendant was so eager to hand us. “We don’t have to worry about that,” I thought to myself. My two Filipino friends already had our hearts set on the proverbial wine pairing of cheese and crackers, minus the wine. It was the second day of our weekend trip to Napa when we decided that a picnic at the ever popular and crowded V. Sattui Winery would be the best way to spend the day.

As we entered the grounds, a stone path lead up to the main plaza where a circular water fountain stood at the center. On one side of the path, smoke from the vendors grilling meat wafted in my direction. The smell was tempting but I did not want a food coma so I quickly made my way into the deli. I perused the cheese section and picked up a brie and some chips before dipping a few pretzel sticks into samples of cheese and mustard dips. My friends and I gathered at the register to survey the haul. We were ready for our picnic.

All the picnic tables outside were occupied but we luckily swooped in and grabbed an empty bench with a wooden slab for a table. I started unwrapping the brie and placed it almost in the center. Then one friend placed her dip to the left of the brie and then the other friend placed the crackers opposite of the dip in a ninety degree angle. We whipped our phones out and snapped a few pictures and then we finally ate. I took a fork and sliced a piece of cheese, placed it on a cracker and took a bite.

After a few minutes of devouring half a brie, I sat back and tilted my head slightly to the right as I slowly went into a daze. After a few minutes, the foreground slowly took shape as I noticed what looked to be a Filipino family, complete with uncles, aunties, and cousins occupying the picnic table ahead of us. Another one of the uncles was scurrying to the table, placing a wrapped up sandwich next to a tub of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

“I think they’re Filipino,” I said with a semi certain voice.

My friends nodded in agreement, “yeah, I think so too.”

“I’m trying to listen to what they’re saying but they’re too far. I think it’s Tagalog,” one friend said.

“I’ll take a closer look,” I announced and then grabbed the empty cheese wrapper and a crumpled up napkin. I nonchalantly walked over to the wine barrel trash bin next to the family. I quickly glanced at the contents of their table as I flung the trash into the bin. I then proceeded back to my seat and with a confident nod I declared, “Yup, they’re Filipino. There’s corn beef and rice”.

My friends giggled in agreement.

“It’s all in tupperware and they’re all in plastic bags,” I added.

I started to recall my childhood of long road trips with my family up and down California. “I remember when I was a kid my family would take long road trips. They’d cook like, tocino, and tapa, and cook rice the day before we’d leave. And, everything would be in tupperware and we’d bring the whole rice cooker,” I exclaimed.

Images of me in the middle row passenger seat of our minivan started to emerge. My mom would get up from the front passenger seat, crouched with her head ducked, her right hand clutching the driver seat for balance, as she angled her way to the middle of the minivan where our ‘baon’ (packed lunch) was neatly stacked in tupperware. I watched her as she attempted to assemble a plate of rice and tapa. She would first unknot a plastic bag and take out a plastic fork, spoon and paper plate and then shovel a clump of rice from the rice cooker (yes we even brought a rice cooker) onto the plate. A few pieces of tapa on top and then the finisher, splashes of vinegar and chopped onions that were kept in a sandwich bag with a rubber band keeping it shut. She would then plop herself back onto her seat and then tried to feed my dad a spoonful of rice and ulam while he was driving.

“See, mayron tayong kinakain (we have something to eat),” my mom would say.

As a child, I didn’t understand why they would go to all that trouble. I always thought it would be easier to eat something quick at one of the fast food chains that dotted the highway. I suppose that, aside from saving money, it was something familiar to them. A scoop of rice and ‘ulam’ (main dish) would be ‘masustansya’ (nutritious), for the long drive. Now, I don’t see them making the same effort like they used to when they were younger.

“I don’t have energy for that,” one of my friends said.

“Me neither,” the other added.

“Yeah, that’s too much effort,” I said.

I scooped another bite of chips and cheese and thought “I think I’m fine with cheese and crackers.”

-Jamie