Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Signature of All Things

This book made me a true blue Elizabeth Gilbert fan. Yes, I know her from Eat Pray Love (another very good book, though honestly I've only seen the movie), that she was the basis for Coyote Ugly etc, but this one is so beautiful, I might read it again one day, and before that, I’m going to borrow or buy her other books. 

Standing ovation for character development. So meticulously researched and plotted. Wonderful heroine - who would ever root for a privileged woman who spends her time studying mosses??? But, yeah, I rooted for her all right. Also, imagine how many real women of her time could have been like her, studying botany and other sciences, but never having gotten the recognition? That means there are more stories like this to be discovered. So good. I haven’t enjoyed fiction this much in a long time. Heart emojis all around.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Celebrity Homes: Obamas and the White House


I'm Filipino, and I live on the other side of the world, but even I will miss the Obamas.

I need these photos from Architectural Digest right now. The next occupants better keep that garden. 😠

Friday, October 7, 2016

Eggs, Anyone?

Eggs Sunny Side Up

Sunnier mornings have got me thinking about cooking eggs for breakfast more often. I once thought of trying all the ways these yummy kitchen staples could be prepared. Maybe I'l pick up some ideas from here and here.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday Reading

  • Ideas like giving small-forest owners the tools to switch from the logging industry to the carbon markets are what this world needs. Comment dit-on en francais, awesome?
  • While we are on the subject of forests, fancy living in one? 
  • Our washing machine is Samsung, so I was a little alarmed at the news of the recall. Thankfully, front-loaders, like the one we have, are not affected (concerned models are the top-loaders). Gosh Samsung, very badly done.
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly - I'm getting the book and seeing the movie.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Celebrity Homes: Matt Lauer's Hamptons Cottage

With a backyard like this, of course, it was snapped up after two weeks on the market.

(All photos via

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

In The Mood For Tropical Prints

My $5 Find
This adorable document tray has got me dreaming of warm weather. Below, paradise prints galore.

Beverly Hills Martinique Banana Leaf Wallpaper

The iconic Martinique wallpaper.

 The Coveteur
Throw in some lemons, too!

Pearl Farm Davao
Pearl Farm Resort, one of Davao's many gorgeous beaches.

India Hicks's Rizzoli book. Check out her Bahamas house featured on Architectural Digest.

Monday, May 23, 2016

All The Light We Cannot See

No doubt this is a beautifully written book -- almost too beautiful. Set in World War II, it's a sweeping and touching story. I enjoyed the science and technology bits woven into Werner 's (the male protagonist) side of the tale. It took me a while to finish because I felt overwhelmed by the gorgeously constructed sentences. The author could have been more economical with words without diminishing the storytelling. Still, I am happy that I stuck it out :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Celebrity Homes: Marisa Tomei's NYC Apartment

#WomanCrushWednesday: Here's Marisa Tomei's Manhattan home featured in Elle Decor. I've been in love with her since maybe 1994 (Only You. Sigh.), and she looks even more beautiful some 22 years later. (See her in the recent Kate Spade campaign.)


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Searching For A Teepee

I'm 5 years late to this decorating trend, but I'm still looking for a teepee. It's for kiddie playtime, but since our indoor play area is the living room, a cute (and easily packable) one would be preferable.
via Adairs

via EdEx
via Pottery Barn Kids

Friday, April 1, 2016

Friday Reading

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Celebrity Homes: Julia Child's Cottage in Provence

Photo Credit:
Now THIS is a kitchen!

In my 50s, I'd like to build a little house like Julia Child's perfectly-sized home (1,500 square feet, which is about 139 square meters) in Southeastern France. On the market late last year, it has since been purchased and will soon be a culinary retreat center. That would be a fun holiday!

Photo Credit: Sotheby's/

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Expat Feelings = Thankful + Overwhelmed


For the most part, I resist calling myself "expat spouse" because, like a tricky slip dress that I can't bring myself to wear, somehow it does not seem to fit. But reading up on being the "trailing spouse" really helps me realize that I'm not crazy to feel a melange of gratefulness, excitement, physical exhaustion, and anxiety over how I'm doing over here. I am aware of my blessings and opportunities, but now I'm allowing myself to admit (even if it's just to me and my husband) that some things can be tougher than I thought. The Wall Street Journal Expat Blog is a great resource - so many interesting, diverse stories from all over the world. Some of my favorites so far -

Friday, March 4, 2016

Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie

Growing up I knew about Marie Curie because of Chemistry classes and because of my aunt (my mother's sister, who is a past TOYS awardee for Chemical Sciences).  I got to visit the Curies' tomb in the Pantheon a few years ago.  Never really became interested until I read this book (borrowed from my sisters' place in Manila). What a fascinating life. A century ago, she was already opening up opportunities for women and girls in STEM. Great read. Ok, for a change of pace I'm reading fiction next. :D

Monday, February 29, 2016

Living Near the Water

Harbour Bridge

While hanging out in the Kirribilli area yesterday, I couldn't help but admire the great houses by the waterfront. No pictures because I didn't want to be intrusive. My husband said he'd love to live beside the sea; I think that would be nice, though I always loved the idea of a lakefront house instead of a coastal one.

Like this:

Monday, February 15, 2016

We Started Our Balcony Garden

Ok, we just have six herbs, one type of flower, and three hanging planters, but we (especially the little boy) enjoyed it so much, we might add a few more over the next few months!


Marigold flowers

Caring for growing things is fun for the little guy, and I hope this augments his now evident love of nature and the outdoors. One of the first things he asked to do before breakfast this morning was, "Water plants?" , with a huge grin on his face. And so we did!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters

Amusing. Proto-Kardashians in early 1900's Britain with more than any family's share of political extremes. (Though Kanye is running for US president, right? Is Kanye 2020 still a thing?)

I couldn't help but chuckle at the familiar sisters dynamic though. I can thoroughly relate to the love/craziness :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Hello, 2016!

Sunny! View from the grounds of Sydney Observatory.
Happy New Year! :)