Monday, November 23, 2015

Flying to Australia

Free map and city guide we picked up at the airport.
We arrived in Sydney last Thursday, just in time to be welcomed by an epic heat wave on Friday. It's been just a weekend, but we are  quickly falling in love with this city. Everyone we've encountered--from the staff at the baggage claim area at Kingsford Smith Airport to the locals we meet randomly in our current neighborhood--has been incredibly helpful, warm and charming. I know we will have the best time here.

We flew Singapore Airlines with a layover of 12+ hours at Changi Airport, which is the best airport to ever be stuck in. Very family friendly! Loved the Butterfly Garden, the Koi fish pond, the stores, the dining, and the indoor playground. Since we were in Terminal 3, we spent most of our time there, except for three hours at dinner time when we took the Skytrain to Terminal 2 to hang out at a lounge c/o Citibank PremierMiles. (I also picked up some Caudalie products at the beauty shops. So far, I'm liking them a lot.)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Celebrity Homes: Ellen DeGeneres

Photo Credit: Nino Munoz on

I have a serious girl crush on Ellen DeGeneres. She is great to watch on her talk show. Games! Singing! Whip-And-Nae-nae-ing! She travels in style (read a Vogue feature about a trip to Paris and the flea market on Rue de Clingancourt here). Together with wife Portia De Rossi, she just seems like she would be a lot of fun to hang out with. Best of all, she loves houses and design - a lady after my own heart.

It's well-documented that she is a kind of real estate mini mogul, with a lot going on including:

1. Ellen's Design Challenge, a show on HGTV. How did I miss this? It premiered in January this year (with a second season out around the same time next year). Apparently it is on 2nd Avenue here in the Philippines, and the season finale airs tonight (Nov. 5) at 8:00 PM local time.

Photo Credit: via

2. A line of home furnishings called ED by Ellen (shop them here).

3. A new book out entitled Home, in which we all get to pore over the gorgeous homes she's owned and decorated.

4. A chic (and profitable) hobby of buying, remodeling, and selling (aka "flipping") or renting out houses. Let's look at five of the fifteen (!) that she's owned.

My favorite is the Beverly Hills one featured in Architectural Digest back in 2011. I think this is the house she later sold to American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.

My second favorite is the heavenly Santa Monica ranch featured in Elle Decor.

I also love the fifties/sixties house in Hollywood Hills.

They had a beautiful estate in Montecito.

And they briefly had a condo, before they moved back to the Hollywood Hills place.
Photo via PopSugar

Swoon. I love that she mixes up the look and feel with each new house.  For the rest of her portfolio, I guess we'll need to get a copy of her new book!

For more on Home, here's a great read from the LA Times.