[store finds : HIPSTER SWEATERS]

My girls bought some hipster sweaters sometime in November last year.

They wore them in chilly Baguio before Christmas. 

'cat face'
Forever 21

Fashion Market
2F Market!Market!

Fashion Market
2F Market!Market!

Great news is, they can still have them on back in Manila. I read here that this fair, nippy weather will continue till February. ;)

Everyone in the metro seems happy to be in this sweater weather for a change. Let's enjoy it while it lasts. :)


[the perfect oatmeal at STARBUCKS]

It was another random date with the hubby when we went down south to bring some clothes to my eldest last Saturday.

While at SLEX, we dropped by Starbucks. I ordered a cup of coffee for him, a cup of mint tea for me plus this.

Priced at Php 85.00/cup


[a taste of MARISON'S]

On a typical Sunday for us, dinner time is usually spent outside of home. Right after the mass, we would either head out to our choice restaurant or look for new places to dine in. A recent happy discovery is Marison's, a relatively new Filipino restaurant. 

That evening we were there, they were on soft launch.

Marison's had homey interiors. 

Mostly in warm wood finish, 

the colored 'sampaguita' glass panels on the false windows & kitchen overhead cabinet doors provided the accent.

The wooden pendant lamps in the dining area are eye-catching pieces.

Here is what we had that night on the dinner table.

Chicken Binakol

Similar to the 'tinola', this popular soup from Iloilo uses coconut water (with coconut meat) in place of regular water.

Crispy Tripe Kare-Kare

The regular beef kare-kare is given a twist - crispy tripe pieces as toppings.

The two dishes were best enjoyed with steaming cups of rice.

Over-all, we had a pleasant dining experience there. Reasonably-priced good food, nice interiors plus the warm hospitality extended by the owners who happened to be there that time.

We will definitely come back to try their crispy beef tadyang & salmon. ;)

   2/F The Village Center (Mille Luce)
   Antipolo City, Rizal


[store finds : OUR ART tote bag]

I bought some tote bags to give away last Christmas. Like the silver one I got for my mom, this bag, when purchased, will also help a low-income community.

This attractive bag features paintings 'designed by senior citizens-retirees & sewn by women from underprivileged communities'. It is made of printed tarpaulin (front) & polycanvas (back & sides).


[our first BALIK-BUKID experience]

Jill was 'recruited' by a classmate's sister to become part of the Balik-Bukid country fair staff.  I allowed her to join because she gets to earn a day's worth of work & the whole family spends time at the Sta. Elena Fun Farm. ;)

That day, we had an early start because Jill was required to be there before 6 am. 

We found ourselves on the road at the break of dawn.

At slightly past the main gate, these banners greeted us

as we drove down the road that led us to the venue

where the cloudy skies

seemed to meet the clusters of trees.

At the entrance gate, your inner wrist get stamped with a carabao logo, 

& welcomed by songs.

One can take home the Balik-Bukid experience through these items they sold. Kirsten bought one.

A quote to inspire you to "reach for your stars". 

You can find more of this installed inside the farm.

There were huts on stilts & picnic tables near the mini-zipline area.

Those huts look like elevated teepees.

A colorful vintage truck added some quirk.

Kirsten's OOTD shot.

This is the farm pavilion 

where we watched the Paquiao-Rios fight on pay-per-view. Of course, it was a freebie. ;)

Double selfies. :)

Nice paintings & wood carvings were on sale.

A vat of floating blooms were placed near the pavilion steps.

Lamps & fairy lights adorned a post.

Outside, there was a wash area. I love these metal tubs which they converted into sinks.

Way-finders abound to point to the boating

& fishing areas

where you see these ducks wading in the water

or just drying themselves off by the side.

Seen from afar, there were enclosed pens for the rabbits

or open ones where these wild boar & rooster were.

They also had an area where you feed

the rabbits

and the chickens.

A farm is, of course, never without horses kept in stables.

After seeing the animals, we went further down the bazaar area to see the shops selling mostly handcrafted products.

Right beside the shops was the dining area.

Diners were shielded from the heat & rain by a parachute canopy.

While waiting for the food stalls to open, Kirsten & I got our pictures taken by the official lensman there & took home this photo-booth shot.

We saw Jillian & her classmate, B, a fellow 'recruit', who were on lunch break. 

There were many yummy food & beverage offerings we got to explore.

From the many choices, we settled for the burgers.

There was all-day entertainment

from different bands who played mostly reggae music.

At the other end of the venue, there were areas for different activities like

horseback riding,

obstacle course,

& carabao-driven cart riding.

Since it was on a Sunday, the picnic area was converted into an outdoor chapel where we heard mass.

An hour later, dusk fell.

Our fun-filled country fair day ended as we headed for home just as the lanterns lit up the farm.

Until the next one, same time next year... ;)

***photo credits : KIRSTEN