Monday, May 6, 2013

New week, new home!

In preparation for the really exciting things that are about to happen, Non Stop Babble has moved to a new home. Please bookmark this new site and I'll see you there! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

What's your social media personality?

This is really interesting. Take a look at the results of a study made on the types of personalities you'll find in social media networks. I don't think there's one personality that best describes me. I'm probably a combination of an Ultra, Informer and Approval Seeker. 

I'm an ULTRA because, I'm hardly ever offline. Even if I'm out of the house, I'm still connected to social media via my phone (used to be an iPhone5 and now a Note II which I am loving even more and is largely the reason behind the time I spend tracking my social media accounts these days). I'm only quiet when focused on a certain activity that requires my undivided attention or when I'm in a place that has really poor or no signal haha! 

I'm partly an INFORMER because I notice that I'm always eager to share news. When I'm in the mall and I spot something interesting to me or what I know would be interesting to my circle or followers, it's on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook in just a few minutes. 

Lastly, I'm also an APPROVAL SEEKER. I know it sounds so juvenile. It's mostly kids who keep asking people to follow them and talk to them. In my case, I don't care much for "likes". I like checking to see if people have commented or reacted to any of my posts because I'm basically an engaging person and I like interaction. I'm most alive when I'm interactive. Ask anyone who knows me well.

I know that there are sooooooo many LURKERS out there. I wish the number for this type would go down drastically soon. It's so much fun to "talk" and interact in social media sites. I've discovered that this is a surefire way to expand one's network ... whether it's personal or professional. So many people start out nowadays as Twitter or Facebook friends and then evolve into being friends in "real" life, outside of social media. It's happened to me many times now and it's always so gratifying, really. 

So ... let's interact shall we? Which personality fits you? 

Source for the above photo is here 

Sunday Thought

There are days when I think about my Dad more than usual. 
Today is one of them. 

I miss you sooooooooooo much, Daddy. 

Have a blessed Sunday, everyone. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Spotted Online : Oryspa's Rice Water Aromatic Essence

I saw this via a blog whose owner I can't even remember anymore :) 

That was around last year, but even before I could go to the nearest Echostore to buy a bottle, a friend already gave me one (plus their massage oil) soon after I was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

Oryspa carries spa products that have rice bran as its main ingredient. According to their website, "rice bran is high in omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin B which are natural anti-oxidants. 

Used my Samsung Galaxy Note II to create this

This is my 3rd bottle. When I like the smell of something, I really stick to it for a while. I don't like strong scents so I'm not really a perfume person. Colognes and EDTs are more my thing. Yeah, I think my nose has always been over-sensitive. 

The 30ml bottle is also the perfect size to be carried around. P295 for this. Not bad, right? 

(I buy mine from Echostore branches but you can purchase online.)

Sabine's 7th (Rating) : For Keeps Photography

Other than food, this is the one thing I won't compromise. There is no way it's going to work if you ask a family member or a friend to do it for free or as pakiusap. Of course they're going to agree to doing it. But the output will be a story you don't want to be looking at. Trust me, I've done it before. You have to pay for the service to get the kind of output you expect. In my case, I want a photographer to be : hardworking, creative and on a personal level, very easy to deal with. 

I honestly didn't know where to start when I was looking for one. I was afraid someone might recommend a really expensive photographer or outfit. I've seen what the rates are like these days and even those for kiddie parties make me dizzy! Whaaaaaaat??? 35k for a 7th birthday package??? I won't mention the photographer's name but I've seen his work and he's good. I'm just not in a position to shell out that much just for photography. I don't think that kind of fee will ever sit well with me hihi!

Anyway, I came across FOR KEEPS in old reliable GirlTalk, where I spent many many years posting my opinon, advice and making friends. There's an entire board that's dedicated to topics pertaining to kiddie parties. I clicked on the Photo and Video thread and the rest is history.

It was Jet Lamosa who responded to my text -- very promptly, I was impressed from the start. We exchanged a couple of messages and in no time, I received a detailed emailed proposal from him. Even more impressed! Basically, all it took was a few email messages and we were all set. My gut feel talaga is always so spot on. I felt comfortable even if we were communicating only via texts and emails.

There are sooooo many photos from the party and I had a hard time choosing the best ones to showcase in this post. Here you go!

Venue styling and set-up
People shots 
More people shots

My favorite of them all ... the candid shots!

Jet is hardworking. He was all over the place! Mind you, he covered Sabine's party alone. Just look at these outdoor shots.

For your appreciation, here are the package inclusions:

Maximum 4 hours coverage
50 pcs 5R size matte finish prints
6 x 8 photo book
All photos in large digital format stored in DVD/CD medium as proof
Free editing of photos
Free delivery via courier

All for the very reasonable price of Php 3,500. The main perk though is that Jet was so easy to talk to. No fuss, no headaches. I'm so happy with our over-all experience with Jet of FOR KEEPS.

If you wish to contact and book them (please do, you won't regret it!) : 

Thank you, FOR KEEPS and Jet, for all these wonderful photos! 

How was your Friday?

If I were to sum it up in one word? TOXIC. 

Anissa and I left the house before 9am because her dance class all the way in QC was at 10. We got there early, but along Edsa I saw the sign. There's going to be a Mega 3-day sale this weekend. It was like a premonition of sorts. Since Anissa's class was going to be over in 1.5 hours and it was a Friday (Metro Manila peeps, you know what this means right?), I decided to just stay in the area and wait. Anissa suggested Centris. I was like ... what? where? I found it nonetheless and was pleasantly surprised. It was so early, most of the restos were still closed but I found my way to Pancake House because unlike the rest, they were already serving breakfast at this time. 

I don't like fancy waffles. This is always what I get when I'm in one of my breakfast moods. The Golden Brown.

Soon enough, the 1.5 hrs was up and I had to leave. By this time, I knew that traffic was already bad because people were tweeting about it. Before I left Centris Walk, I spotted an Echostore! It was already 11am so they were open. As always, I can't ever leave an Echostore without buying anything. It's really one of my favorite stores to waste time in, and yet, it never feels like a waste being there. So much useful stuff to buy. I didn't find anything new, just replenished a couple of things I always get from them. 

And then the nightmare began! Traffic jams everywhere! I picked up Anissa and her friend Denise and had to take them to Katipunan for review classes. We passed through Quezon Ave and then UP but crawled almost all the way to Loyola Heights. Horrors!!! It was not the day to not have a driver but that was the sad fact ... I didn't have a driver yesterday. After dropping them both off, I had to call the house to tell Mama (thank God she was in my neck of the woods yesterday) to please go ahead to Power Plant with Sabine because she was graduating from the McDonald's Kiddie Crew program at 2pm. It was 1:15 and I was (again) crawling on Meralco Avenue approaching Shaw Blvd in Pasig. DAMMIT. I was going to be late to my own daughter's "graduation". I had to stop myself several times from swearing out loud in the car. Even the car's air-conditioning was acting up because it was just too hot outside. I finally got home, made a quick change of clothes and headed quickly to Power Plant Mall. This time, no traffic jams ALLELUIA! 

I literally plopped on one of the chairs in McDonald's and was just so glad I made it in time to see all the important parts of the afternoon's ceremonies. We made it back home sometime around 5:30pm. I was never happier seeing my bed! Took a quick nap which I didn't have to force myself into, and after dinner, N and I were off to our weekly bible study group, just 3 doors away from where we stay. 

What an exhausting Friday. Yes, I hate Metro Manila traffic just like the rest of Metro Manila does. I'm just so happy I ended the day well. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sabine's 7th (Rating) : Verleo Catering

First time to get Verleo to cater, but I've been to parties they've catered, heard and read many good reviews about their food and service. So when Olive of Let's Party said this was the caterer she was going for (rate included in Let's Party's package), I immediately told her I was all for it. 

The Menu

Fried Rice
Pasta Carbonara
Garlic Fried Chicken
Buttered Vegetables
Fish Fillet w/ Lemon Butter Sauce
The famous Verleo Mango Crepe! 

They also provided the tulle ribbons for the chairs, of course. See photos here

I didn't choose a separate buffet selection for the kids anymore and it's a good thing I did that, because we would have a problem with the space otherwise. Besides, Verleo is good. It doesn't really matter how many menus you go for. 

Like I said, I didn't talk to Verleo directly. It was Let's Party who dealt with them for me, because the caterer was part of Let's Party's package. But you can always go to their website to look at their menus and inquire about their rates. 

Rating : 4 stars! Food is always soooooo important in any party. You don't want people remembering that you served yucky food, do you? I'm so OC about that!

This is what happens at my kids' parties ... I don't get to eat. This time though, I had a few bites of the Pasta Carbonara and the Fish Fillet w/ Lemon Butter Sauce --- nom nom nom! I also HAD to have the Mango Crepe, of course. Still a winner after all these years!

Sabine's 7th (Rating) : Dessert Station by Design Avenue

I looked high and low for someone to do the dessert station for the party. I went through forums and reviews and managed to note down a few suppliers. In all fairness to these suppliers, their rates were good enough to consider. But the reason I went with Kris Pestanas-Lopez of Design Avenue is that she's Olive Q.'s (owner of Let's Party) sister. This was a no-brainer! Getting a sister tandem made a lot of sense to me. They've been working on parties together and can read each other's minds. 

I didn't meet Kris until the day of the party itself. I talked to Olive the whole time and Olive took charge of relaying all my requests to Kris. Despite this odd arrangement, everything went so well. 

The dessert station was the party's main attraction. I know because I can't remember how many of the guests complimented the set-up and asked me who did it. 

Mini cupcakes, macarons, meringue, eclairs, mallow pops, cream puffs, assorted candies and gummies PLUS the simple yet flirty, ruffled birthday cake. These are what Kris included in the package, other than the lovely styling. 

Details details details ... I can't stress enough how important details are --- in anything! It's the details that make a huge difference. 

Everything looked so pretty. So perfect. 

The station was a photographer's dream. That's why Jet Lamosa of For Keeps (official photog who's going to get his own spanking review later!) was able to churn out all these lovely photos of the table and everything on it. I joked Kris about having to keep an eye out for all the accessories which party guests might think are for taking home with them hihihi!

Unfortunately for me, other than the birthday cake which I had a slice of, I didn't get to taste any of it. It was enough to know though, that way before the party ended, the set up was totally devoid of food hahaha. The kids raided it even before they went to the main buffet set-up by Verleo. The table looked like a typhoon had swept through it. In fact, that OC 2nd person who lives somewhere inside this body wanted to clean things up immediately after the last kid left the area. Don't worry, I walked away and let Kris and Olive do their thing. I didn't want to be that client from h*ll. :))

It's been 4 days since the day of the party and I still haven't stopped staring at these photos. I wish I had the creative knack to go into a business as creative as this. Kris is super talented and super hands on! 

Rating : 4 stars for Kris and her staff for being so involved in everything
Rate : My lips are sealed hehe! (ask me in private if you wish)

Contact Kris Pestanas-Lopez of Design Avenue via their Facebook page

Sabine's 7th (Ratings) : Venue and Venue Styling

I can finally start writing my supplier reviews and share my ratings. First of all, it's never easy to plan and organize a party, more so if it's as special as the one we just had. 

Because I planned the party sometime end of February, giving me only about 2 months to do everything, we had a difficult time securing a suitable venue. It's a good thing Olive Quiroga of Let's Party (who was my official party planner), suggested the Arcadia Subdivision Clubhouse. Arcadia is the really low-key village beside Corinthian Gardens on Ortigas Avenue. Although it was Olive who booked the venue for me, I was able to meet and talk briefly to their Admin person, Vicky, during my ocular inspection. She was accommodating, pleasant and reassuring. Staff were also present during the party to help out.

The kids were able to access the playground area on the side, which made all of them so happy. Our official photographer was able to run after them and take many outdoor shots. 

We had approximately 130 guests and we all fit comfortably (not elbow to elbow) in the venue. The place wasn't THAT big, so it really looked like soooo many people came to celebrate with us. 

Olive really kept her word on the decorations we talked about and agreed on. The colors I wanted were all there, the backdrop was HUGE, not "tinipid" like many others I've seen. The backdrop occupied the entire wall behind the stage area. 

I know that the backdrop was a hit because many of our guests had their photos taken there repeatedly. Even the requisite group family/friends photos - which I make sure we have during my kids' parties -  were shot in that specific area.

This is the 2nd part of the venue, an adjacent room for more guests. This room leads directly to the pool area (which is not part of the rental fee). 

On to the venue styling c/o Let's Party. Olive Q. was introduced to me by Nikka. Apparently, they're very good friends and Olive has done all of Nikka's kids' parties so far. I've never met a party planner I didn't like, but Olive is so far the nicest of them all. I chose a FRENCH PATISSERIE theme, instead of the usual character-centered one.

The venue (as you can see in the photos) ended up being well-dressed without looking over the top. While it's nice to be all-out when it comes to decorations, I really would rather have it this way. Sometimes it just becomes too much to take in and absorb, you end up not appreciating it so much.

Eeeeep! I almost forgot about the centerpiece! Because the theme was French Patisserie, the teapot and tea cup centerpiece was the perfect choice.

And now the ratings (drum roll please?) : 

Venue - Arcadia Subdivision Clubhouse : 4 stars (no such thing as perfect kasi hihihi)
Rental fee : 10k plus 5k security deposit (refundable)

Venue Styling and Decor - Olive Quiroga of Let's Party : 4 stars
Rate : My lips are sealed :) 

Contact details for those who are interested (and I highly recommend that you consider them):

Venue - to follow later, because Olive was the one who took care of this for me

You can visit Let's Party's Facebook page at or contact Olive at 0917 8298428 or email address

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Been busy!

As you all know, we held Sabine's 7th birthday party last Sunday. It was a huge success, despite the very small window I had to prepare for it. I have so much to be thankful for! I promised to do supplier reviews here and I still will. I just want to wait for the official pictures to come in so I can use them for the entries. But just to give you all a tiny peek, here are a few that the photographer shared to me yesterday, to get me excited : 

I really have tons to write about! I was praying that nothing would go wrong with any of the suppliers so that I wouldn't have to be painfully honest and my prayers were heard. We were happy with everyone! 

The party keeps playing in my mind like a movie and I have a hangover to this day. Our guests told me they had so much fun. Not bad for something that was put together in more or less 2 months! But the most important thing? The celebrant couldn't stop talking about how much she enjoyed. 

That was all I needed to hear! 

Watch out for the reviews soon!