Shopping Alert: Fresh Fun Twists on Classics at The Florence Fling

I have a “uniform” of sorts when it comes to my wardrobe which means I have a tendency to buy the same styles and prints over and over again (much to the dismay of Dan…”stripes na naman?!”) But the thing is, having a uniform makes dressing up in the morning easy because the clothes I have in my wardrobe match each other already. I love sleeping in so I would rather spend the extra minutes of each weekday morning in bed cuddling with David and Noah than standing in front of my closet, wondering what to wear (even though I still have those “ I don’t have anything to wear” moments every now and then) A uniform also means that I know which styles look good on me so I feel at ease throughout my work day. My day job is stressful enough, kaya dapat di na makigulo pa ang aking outfit no?! hahaha!

I update my uniform by buying prints or cuts that give a new twist to the basics that I already have. I go to my favorite online stores (, zalora (for zalora basics) , j.crew to name a few and actual stores where I know the cut, quality and fabric will fit my budget. A few weeks ago, I found a new favorite store to add to my list.

Florence Fling is at the 2nd Level, Mega A , near Slimmers World and I shopped for a top and two dresses. Tessa Nieto-Villalon, the owner, brains and beauty of the brand invited me to stop by one Saturday to check out her new shop. I was trying to control myself because there were so many more fun clothes but I have to stick to my budget. They are on sale now though and I am eyeing a few skirts and tops na naman aay! If Tessa looks familiar to you, it’s because she’s a top model and is the face behind a lot of famous campaigns here in the Philippines and in Asia.

The Florence Fling

After taking a break from her successful modelling stints, she took up Polimoda Fashion School in Florence, Italy (a-ha!) where she took up fashion merchandising and management. Soon after, Tessa came home and worked with Tyler, and then became a wife and mom. She took a break and soon after she put up Florence Fling! All of Florence Fling’s clothes are proudly Pinoy made, which is one wonderful reason (among many) to love and support this brand.

florence fling tessa villalon

I had a really wonderful time shopping at Florence Fling. I always love shops that do basics right but with a fun twist. The first piece that caught my eye was this striped top. I love stripes and I have them in a lot of colors. I can’t get enough of them and I just had to buy this Denisa striped top because it was a great twist to my collection of striped top (Php 1,500)

Florence Fling Megamall (2)

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To Noah’s Teachers

To Noah’s dearest teachers,

This letter has been written and rewritten for so long already. A draft has been building up in my head for some time now. I take pictures of you and Noah every now and then and when I review my camera roll, I would think “this is such a happy pic of Noah and his teachers, this would be great for the letter”.

And then things happen (or don’t happen) and this letter is pushed back and even with so many revisions, the message has always been the same.


Thank you so much for greeting Noah with open arms and excited screeches when at just a few months old, I brought our new baby to Alres and he was all bundled up in linen swaddles. He was the youngest kid then and he set a new record I think. Noah’s birth was tumultuous and unexpected. At 33 weeks , Noah had to be delivered so he could survive. Then the talk of “soft markers” for Down Syndrome came 4 days after. Looking back, there was never really a big celebration, there was never a big welcome for him. Everyone was cautious and careful for this newborn who was hooked up to so many wires at the NICU. Dan and me were still struggling then to make sense of what was happening. So to go into Alres and just hear everybody welcome Noah and comment on how cute, sweet, and precious he is just how you would welcome any other newborn baby, was such a healing moment for me.

Because of that, I looked forward to Noah’s PT every Monday. Actually I still look forward to going to Alres on days when I can go on vacation and accompany Noah to his therapies. Alres became and is our happy place.   I learned how we could help Noah get stronger and how best to motivate him so he can do his best each session. Each head lift, each crawl were milestones that we all celebrated. You all take selfies and videos with Noah and you tag me on Facebook. In those pictures and video, I see how you see Noah as being more than your student. You see him as how we see him, our funny, pilyo and playful bunso.

But it’s not just Noah really, I see and feel how invested you are with all of your kids and how you always give so much to and for them.

Growing up, I’ve had my own experiences with amazing teachers. I always remember them for their kindness, their passion and their compassion. I learned from them that if you believe in your student, your student will thrive and progress. I see these amazing teachers in all of you. I am excited for Noah and the journey he is on because he has such great and fun guides.

So thank you dear teachers for believing in Noah. Thank you for being his first barkada (seriously you guys are his first friends outside of family!!) Thank you for the selfies (groupfies?) videos and texts that help me know how Noah is doing while Dan and me are at work. Thank you for helping us help Noah.   Thank you for loving Noah.

Thank you for always hearing us out, most especially me. My default emotion really is anxiety so thank you always for your kind words and encouragement.

I asked Dan what he’d like to say to you and he said

“Thank you at Pinanganak Kayo”

Dan is a man of few words but he always nails the message.

So even though we don’t say it that often, please know that we are thankful and our hearts are always filled with gratitude. Please know that you have such a big impact in the lives of the kids and families who have come to call Alres their second home. We will forever be grateful.



Team Noah is so awesome!!

Fun Find: Classic and Cute Beatrix NY Bags for Your Kiddos

Shoping Alert!!  As much as we all love Star Wars (heck we even dressed as characters of the movies last Halloween) and David would like to have his favorite Jedis on literally everything he owns, I would still very much prefer that he keeps some of his stuff unique. In a sea of kids with their favorite cartoon and movie characters emblazoned on their bags and lunch boxes, getting a different design ensures that at least  David’s stuff does not get mixed up with others  (it’s peace of mind for me too)

I found out about Beatrix NY, from my friend Oliver who brought in this brand. I looked at the items and just fell in love with Percival the Dinosaur:

Percival the Dinosaure Wheelie Bag


I ordered the wheelie bag right away. It was the beginning of summer when I found out that Beatrix NY bags are now here in Manila. We had travel plans already lined up so I decided that David and Noah should have their own luggage already. I really felt like it was a milestone because the kids  have their very own luggage haha but that was just me. I was really excited that the boys have their own bag that we can use when we go on trips. The wheelie bag retails for Php5,095 and I ordered online via

When the bag came, I was not disappointed at all. The bag is made of heavy duty nylon and the frame is sturdy. It also has adjustable handle with multiple lock settings. The bag is roomy and can hold David and Noah’s clothes and a few essentials such as beach towels and swimming gear for a weekend trip. Best of all the size is just right for David to pull it on his own when we travel. He loves the independence too. It’s also cute seeing his bag in the airport with all the other boring adult bags in the conveyor belt heehee.

Beatrix NY has their own adorable mascots that feature prominently in their items. I chose Percival the Dinosaur because David loooves Dinosaurs. Percival’s friends include Dieter the Monkey, Juju the Ladybug, Penelope the Octopus,  Alexander the Robot and a whole lot more!

Beatrix NY Wheelie Bag

Noah brings Dieter the Monkey for his therapy sessions. The backpack is made of nylon and laminated canvas.  The back panel and shoulder pads are lightly padded. This bag retails for Php2,195.00

Here’s our little bugoy modeling the backpack! NAAAKS!!!


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#SmartLife: My 3 Favorite Apps to Use When I’m Stuck in Traffic

#smartlife smart traffic apps

Everyday, Dan and I travel from QC, then to Makati (where I work) and then Dan heads off to Bonifacio Global City where his new job is. The travel time takes us at least 1.5 hours.  How about you how long does it take you to and from work? I have friends who work in Ortigas and sobrang inggit ako sa commute nila. Pero walang tatalo sa work from home friends ko but that's another story haha. I am an employee and I have chosen Makati as workplace and so I have to sit through seemingly endless … [Continue reading]

Christine Foong Wong , Parenting and the Trauma of Love


I attended a parenting talk last week that was unlike any of those that I have attended and listened to. It was deeply moving and it disturbed me -- in a good way. It made me rethink what I thought I already know about myself and it made me realize that there are still parts of myself that I have yet to tap and face. The talk I attended was by Christine Foong Wong. It was a Tuesday night, a work night but I hitched a ride with a friend to the lovely Baron 3 Gardens function hall in San Juan … [Continue reading]