Saturday, April 21, 2018

Style Inspo: Em Rata

Quick. Spring cleaning is approaching. You can use your knee high boots for a few more times. How do you wear ‘em? :P

Luckily, Emily Ratajkowski, queen of sultry sensibilities, has plenty of outfit inspo for us. The newly married model is actually not a fan of dressing her OTKs (over the knees, fyi) over skinny jeans as many would do. And it’s one of the reasons why her style is always on my radar.

In an interview with Vogue, she opened up about her styling trick: wearing boots with dresses. “I’ve started to think it’s easier than styling them with denim or pants because you don’t have to worry about lengthening your leg,” she told Vogue. LBDs or flared skirt? Here’s how I copied two of her OTK looks. Click this and this for her two looks or scroll down to jump break below.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Countryside Inspo

It all started with the desire to visit Provence while in Paris during my trip last year to see the lavender fields. Unfortunately, they’d be gone a month long before my scheduled visit so I could only look up some inspirational photos online. And that’s when I discovered Ann Street Studio’s sunflower field photo. The thing is, it’s hard not to like just one photo of her and not follow her. You’ll see what I mean when you click her profile here. Yes, you’re welcome.

Jamie Beck of Ann Street Studio is a photographer extraordinaire who left her life in Manhattan and is now living in Provence documenting her daily life through photos. Try not to be dare I say, obsessed, with her multiple self-portrait series (she even documents her photoshop skills in stories!) or the meticulously thought out idea behind her still lives. She’s one of those pure creatives in the world of Instagram that’s truly inspiring.

She’s like a Belle in the countryside, popping to her favorite bakery in the morning, exploring the beautiful corners of Provence and cooking her own healthy meal in the evening. I want to be this Belle too, making my own self-portraits in the French countryside, but since moving to Provence is currently not an option for me, I just copied what I could of her lifestyle in South of France when I was in Nueva Ecija last week.

Top: H&M; Skirt: Zara

Thursday, April 12, 2018

#TrioThursday: Florals Lately

Don't get me wrong. Floral will always be "in" for spring/ summer but I don't know. Lately, they just feel blah to me. Recently, I'm more into polka dots and plaid/ gingham prints. Which is also not bad patterns/ trends to invest in because of their timeless appeal as well. So I'll keep this post short and present to you my recent floral numbers for today's hashtag. Enjoy :)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Farm Life Ed

Nueva Ecija, a landlocked province in the Great Plains of Luzon, is also known for many names such as rice granary of the Philippines, Tricycle capital or even Longganisa capital (??? Okay, I've yet to confirm this soon) as revealed by quick Google search. But for me, it will always be our second special home up north because of my Aunt and Uncle's lovely farm in the province's capital - Cabanatuan. 

We just spent an extended stay for an extra long holiday and it just occurred to me that a farm life editorial would be a good idea. You know, just for a quick scene change. Haha. So without further ado, let me present to you how I'd do a "Mary had a little lamb" theme in my gingham set. Uhmm, Cassey had more than just one lamb though... :P

Dress set; Zara; Top: Zaful

Thursday, April 5, 2018

On Defining Your Personal Style

When I was doing my best 17 of 2017 year-ender post last December, I must admit at first I suffered from choice overload. Let's say there were about more than a hundred #ootds to choose from. So glad I get to have an additional one for this year, lol. But kidding aside, what helped me narrow it down is defining what best describes my personal style. 

Personal style as one editor put it is your signature 'vibe'. For other people, it's very transparent (shirt and denim type for example) while for some like yours truly it's still not very black-and-white. What I'm certain is that I love re-styling pieces and that up until now I still succumb to trends. Ugh. Yep, been style blogging for years now and I'm still not sure if I've figured it out.

One of the tips from this article to help pinpoint your personal style is to identify the repeat offenders. It says there's a reason why a certain type of clothing abounds in your closet. Well, I have a lot of maxi dresses and long skirts but one of the things that stood out from my outfits last year? This black tutu skirt. I wore it to the streets, brought in Paris and heck even styled it at the beach! 

So, if I were to again use this tip from this article and use three words to describe my style? I will use the adjectives for a tutu skirt. They're ladylike, elegant and dramatic. Oh well, dramatic isn't really a personal style per se but I'll keep it for the meantime. ;) Now tell me what's yours. :)

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Postcards from North Batan

In continuation of my post from last December here from a trip made last June 😅 are the breathtaking sights to behold in North Batan. I didn't even know that it's possible to squeeze both in a day!!! It was only around 2PM and Kuya Dale just casually brought up the idea since he knew I only have a day left. Thankfully, always girl scout ready, I brought a big bag for all my outfit changes. Ahaha!!!

To back up a bit, my South Batan post actually just covered the town of Mahatao. I haven't covered yet Ivana and Uyugan and some few stops here and there of this wonderful place called Batanes. So to continue...

Alapad Hills and Rock Formation

From the moment I learned about this place being the shoot location of Hihintayin Kita sa Langit - a Richard/ Dawn movie in 1991, I've been itching to go back with a lover to do that i-Dawn Zulueta mo ako pose get myself a copy of the movie. It's been 8 months which reflects how very resourceful I am, lol! In this tourist spot in Uyugan, try not to be impressed by the view of a road cutting through two towering cliffs nor be tempted to swim in the ocean.

House of Dakay 

Here below is one of the oldest stone houses of Ivana with its signature thatched cogon roof. This house is popular for being one of the houses that survived a magnitude 8.3 earthquake in 1918. Also, let's not forget that Batanes being the northernmost province, is a typhoon path which makes this functioning house a very fine example of a stone house. The cogon roof is not exactly rainproof but it's one of their most readily available resources and is also durable.

Honesty Coffee Shop

There was a thought-provoking meme I found out about this place that says, "Has honestly become so rare that we turn it into a tourist attraction?" This shop located in the Port of Ivana doesn't have a storekeeper in it and it's a good stopover for coffee during your tour. You simply log whatever you ate/ took with its price and drop the payment in a box, anything excess is considered a tip. Hehe. I noticed that it's the same business concept they apply in my lodge. Also, to my initial shock our gates weren't also locked at night but Batanes boasts of zero crime rate so I knew I'm safe.😅

Oh, I just had to ask Kuya Dale to stop and pose in this pretty structure I found along the way. 


Radar Station/ PAG-ASA

The station itself was long destroyed by a strong typhoon but of course it's not what you wanna see from there but rather this spectacular view. You can still see the hedgerows of Mahatao (close up pic in my previous post here) from this place and Mt. Matarem.

Valugan Boulder Beach

At the back of Mt. Iraya is this beach. It is said that these boulders were spewed by the said mountain when it was geologically active.  I can't believe how such aggregate of rocks could be so picturesque but here they are, looking like a masterpiece. 

Vayang Rolling Hills

By the time we reached this place, I'd lost count the number of times I muttered, "Ang ganda"  to myself. So, I allowed myself to say it out loud just like what the other visitors were doing then. Seriously, it was in this exact moment when I felt my heart swelling with joy and pride for my country as the others were shouting, "Pilipinas, ang ganda mo!" My, my! What an awe-inspiring view!  From this overlook you can see a dramatic landscape and seascape combination of the rolling hills, the view of Mt. Iraya and the west Philippine sea. How can I own a piece of land here? 

Basco Lighthouse and Naidi Hill

How lucky is it that I get to witness a sunset wedding while here in Basco lighthouse? Basco, being a small town capital where everybody knows everybody, Kuya Dale gave me a juicy scoop about the bride. Haha. Not that he once wooed her. Sssshh. Haha.

Basco lighthouse stands on Naidi Hill overlooking the town of Basco on the east and Basco bay on the west. It's best to come here about sunset and capped off my first day in Batanes. :)

If you haven't made any  plans yet for this year, I highly recommend Batanes. I would so so love to go back here in the future. That steep airfare that might cost you two tickets to another country, it's so so so worth it!

Friday, March 23, 2018

Long Time No Selfie: My Struggle with Hormonal Acne

If you notice, you barely see close-ups of my face over here at Cakes And Styles. I get nervous when my photog friends would take close-up shots of me and in general shy away from it partly because this should be all about styling and not my face. But back in say 2017 earlier, if you scroll down my Instagram feed, you’ll see about one or few confident selfies popping up here and there. So what happened? 

For the past two years, I’ve been struggling with persistent hormonal acne. It all started out as mild, normal breakouts around the lower chin area but later progressed into something cystic in nature particularly along the jawline. Much to the chagrin of my wallet, I went to skin treatment salons more often (availed several packages) and also tried the cheaper options from some friends but somehow I couldn’t get to the root of the problem.

It was only late last year (I know it took so long!) when I decided to up the game and FINALLY consult a derma about my dilemma who presented me with a detailed plan of attack to the problem. At the top of her list is another consultation with another doctor, I decided to skip it then since I was so eager to try one of their treatments, something that is highly-recommended to me by a good friend who has already tried it – the chemical peel.

Boy, I did raise my hopes on the blue peel procedure. When the peeling was over (1 week guys, ONE WEEK of tiis-ganda moments, lol!!!), I did see some improvements. BUT, it was obvious that it really didn’t get to the root cause of the problem. Skin tone got lighter, some acne were gone but there were some persistent scars and redness particularly on the left side of my face. So back we go to RC A.

Around January when I usually decide to do my regular health checks, I finally consulted my Gyne about a possible “condition” called PCOS. It’s a condition that’s extremely common among women my age. I was about to schedule for a laboratory procedure for diagnosis but I was shell-shocked when my OB pronounced right then and there that I was positive (She said she could just simply tell from my face). Though I was informed earlier that this isn’t exactly a “sickness”, I did hear some stories about acquaintances who had trouble getting pregnant because of this problem. Not that there’s a chance of me getting pregnant soon (*eyeroll*, lol). I was already feeling a bit relieved when I remembered my Derma telling me about pill treatment will clear the acnes when my Gyne suddenly dropped the bomb. She can’t risk me taking the pills for PCOS treatment because of the impact it will cause on my other “condition” - the cysts that are currently being monitored in my breasts. I briefly talked about it here. Her last words to me was to get back to her if ever I DO have some plans of getting pregnant in the near future coz that’s the only time we will take some course of action to address the issue (PCOS). WOW.

Since this post is strictly about my battle with hormonal acne, I’ll spare you all the drama one goes through upon finding out they have these “conditions” in their body. For now this is my CURSE. Lol. And I have to deal with it. Now on my third month of working with my Derma, she switched me up to a different kind of antibiotic to help lessen the flaring up of my “pets”. Lels. Of course, there are diet changes too (like less dairy, the occasional spot treatments and mild peeling sessions but ultimately, our last resort is another medication which has a success rate of 95% in treating the acnes but one that is yet to be carefully considered because of some risks that it entails. Obviously, there’s no winning yet in this battle so where am I going with all of this?

If there’s one thing my last treatment taught me though, that is to learn to be comfortable with my face without my trusty concealer/ BB creams and foundation. During the tiis-ganda days of facial shedding like a snake (lol!), I had to go out to work for a few days which meant risking my bare face to some of my co-workers (although most of them were in leave then due to the holidays, hehe). Once I got used to it, since January, you’ll barely see me with any foundation on. I simply leave the house with my face slathered on sunblock. Heck, I even went to a few dates without concealing my facial “scars”. 

While it’s true that some of them never showed up again (lol!), but atleast I was pretty clear with my message that acne or not, I am enough. And if you’ve ever reached down this utterly long post and are also going through the same thing, tell yourself that YOU ARE ENOUGH. Granted, it can definitely make your self-esteem plummet when your skin is out of whack but at the end of the day, we all should realize how very little these matter in the grand scheme of things. 

Since I stopped running Soooo Bloggin This!!! (my first ever blog), it just feels therapeutic to be writing some personal stuff again. Please wish me luck in dealing with this ordeal and would be eternally grateful if you could recommend some things that worked for you. Regular styling and outfit posts will be available soon. Thanks for reading. :)