Carabao Crafts: Real Leather Goods

I’m a sucker for genuine leather goods. I’m addicted to the smell so I as much as possible I choose to buy bags with real leather. I had the Cambridge Satchel which my husband hated so I sold it for an even higher price. (Ha!) I have a couple of Rabeanco bags which I so love.

Locally, I adore Our Tribe and Fino Leatherware for their leather goods. I just love going inside their stores because of the smell. My husband finds it weird but I know some of you will understand.

Browsing through Zalora (for some window-shopping because my I’m sad my husband is going on a trip), I saw this gorgeous leather backpack:

I’m thinking of buying this one because I’ve been searching for a really nice leather backpack for myself and as an alternative to Noah’s diaper bag. It’s a bit pricey for a backpack but I know this will last me a lifetime. I’m still on a shopping diet but I haven’t gotten myself a present for our 5th Wedding Anniversary. (Haha!) It’s cheaper than the bag husband wants me to buy for him so I think I’ll wait until he comes back.

Carabao Crafts is a new brand by Carlo Garcia. He comes from a clan of shoemakers in Marikina. He’s the grandson of Vicente Samson (owner of OTTO, ITTI, Cardam’s, and Caterpillar). Having studied shoe and bag design from Ars Sutoria Milanofrom, Carlo Garcia hopes to continue the Samson family’s legacy by starting his own line. His creations are elegant and more durable because they are made from materials combining recycled airplane tires, abaca, coconut fibers, and carabao leather.

I’m glad that young fashion designers like Garcia chose to use Philippines’ very own. I hope more people will support such products. Enough of synthetic leather please. They won’t last long. Buy real leather to get your money’s worth.

Here are some of Carabao Crafts products:Carabao Crafts JUAN Shoes



carabao crafts juanita bag



DIY Candy Party Favor

I may not be the Queen of DIYs in the Philippines but I always surprise my friends and churchmates with the party favors I make. After all the LEGO party decors and favors for my son’s birthday last month, I made these candy favors for our church youth’s Back-to-School event.

I’ve been part of our Youth Group since I was 11 years old. I’m no longer active but I serve as their Ate, Mother, guardian, and sometimes sponsor. I always look for ways how to help them. A couple of weeks ago, I surprised the group with these:

Personalized Candy Party Souvenir

I already used this idea for the lego party. This time though, I bought pink candies. The candies are similar to Tic Tac but I forgot the brand. Each small container costs only P7.50 at SM Hypermart. I bought 30. I scaled down the event’s poster to fit one side and printed a few copies on a white sticker.

DIY Candy Party Favor

Looks like I’ll be making these party favors more often as they’re cheap and very easy to do. 🙂

I’m currently searching the Internet for bridal party decor and favor ideas for my soon-to-be sis-in-law. I haven’t finalized the details yet but I’ thinking of hosting a spa party. We’ll see. 🙂

[LINK LOVE] The Spend-Less Holidays Blog Carnival 2012

Spend-Less Holiday Blog Carnival 2012

Sharing is caring. I’m not part of this Blog Carnival of the Work-At-Home-Moms group I’m a member of because I failed to write one and missed the deadline but I want to share the numerous great tips provided by the other mommies.

I shared with you my 12 Shopping Tips For a Merrier Christmas already and that DIY Christmas Decors. Here are more helpful tips for you to have a meaningful Christmas without having to spend a lot. Enjoy!

 Merry Blog-hopping this Christmas!

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

House of DuoDeco Studio by Elle Uy

I recently got interested in home, living, and interior design when we moved to this two-storey townhouse two years ago. It was only then that I was given a chance to decorate our place having very limited space before.  Becoming Martha was I guess natural because I grew up with a stay-at-home mom and an Architect dad. I remember I would always look at my dad’s architectural and interior design books when I was young. I found them months ago at my parents’ house and I plan to bring them home with me soon.

For inspiration, I read Real Living Philippines. I usually narrow down my magazine choices to local editions because at least I know I can achieve and afford some of the pieces featured inside. Online, is my favorite website. Locally, my favorite is Switcheroom by Elle Uy. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Elle Uy’s website but I guess it’s because she’s been featured in the magazine a lot of times already. I instantly loved her style in decorating that I ended up reading all her blog posts in two days!  I like that she’s very transparent with her designs. Simple but stylish. Pretty and fun. What I like best is that any person who is not a professional interior designer can also achieve her look. I know it’s not easy to design and decorate but Elle can transform any boohoo to woohoo (her words…hehe).

I told her I’d want to hire her when we move in to our own house someday. I just wish we’d be able to afford her. If not, maybe consult? Someday.

She also did Jenni Epperson’s kitchen:


Continue reading House of DuoDeco Studio by Elle Uy

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

On this first day of the Christmas month, allow me to share a song from that one Christmas album I share every year:

A Christmas Album by Joshua Padla

My husband recorded a Christmas album years ago. I can’t find the original cover but this one I made last year. I’m thinking of designing a new one for this year and give away. 🙂

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Joshua Padla | Listen HERE

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of his music. I’m his number 1 fan! 🙂

When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
Genesis 9:16


Noah’s 3rd Birthday | A LEGO Jollibee Kiddie Party

Special thanks to ClaudRod for making this Noah Lego Logo

We decided earlier that we would be having a small party at home for Noah this year. A small party meant our immediate families, a few relatives, and some friends. But when I finished the guestlist, the number totaled to 70. That’s still a lot for a small party. I planned on inviting them to our house by batch: families for lunch, relatives for merienda, and friends for dinner. That sounded not too practical as I knew I’d end up very tired and would be spending more. Then, I thought of getting a hotel suite and just inviting them over. That didn’t seem convenient to everyone but would be cheaper for us.

And then I remembered how Noah enjoyed the Jollibee mascot at his cousin Jam’s 1st Birthday Party. It was the first time that I really witnessed him have fun at a birthday party. Actually, that weekend he enjoyed three birthday parties that made me decide to finally schedule a kiddie party at Jollibee. So we did.

There were  70 guests and most of them were family, relatives, Joshua’s bandmates, my best friend’s family plus my mom’s friends at church. This was a “small” party so I wasn’t able to invite our churchmates and most of my friends. (Ang dami pa rin! Sorry, guys. Bawi kami sa 7th Birthday party. Planado na. Haha! Joke.) Continue reading Noah’s 3rd Birthday | A LEGO Jollibee Kiddie Party

My Vintage Polly Pocket Collection

If you’re looking to buy vintage Polly Pocket playsets in the Philippines, this isn’t the place. I recently started this new collection which I hope to sell someday. I have about eight sets already and I wish to add more.

I never had a Polly Pocket when I was a kid because I remember it was expensive and fashionable then. There’s a new version of Polly Pocket available in toy stores in Manila today but it’s bigger.

The reason why I started to search the Internet for such vintage Polly Pocket toys because I know someday they will be worth something. I’ve seen a few online already that are being sold at outrageous prices. But I’m such a great bargain hunter, I get mine at lower prices. They’re currently hidden away from my son’s reach so I’ll share more photos soon.

I just added three sets to my Polly Pocket collection. Check them out:

How about you?  Did you have any Polly Pocket toy when you were a kid?


When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11


Holidays Rule 2012 Christmas Album

I’m currently listening to the Holidays Rule 2012 Christmas Album:

Holidays Rule available on Amazon and iTunes | $6.99

I came across this album while again, browsing Relevant Magazine. I was listening to a podcast featuring Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay and this funky ‘Jingle Bells’ song played. Looking at the episode music list, I discovered it was by the “Sugar & The Hi Lows”. Unfortunately, I couldn’t locate their music (read: couldn’t download) so I  checked out the other artists. A simply search on Youtube led me to this Holidays Rule album which features Christmas covers by various artists. I’m not a music buff unlike my husband so I only know Paul McCartney and Rufus Wainwright from the list. Continue reading Holidays Rule 2012 Christmas Album