The 9th – Seda

For the last entry of our 9th anniversary staycation , we stayed at Seda – Vertis North. Our anniversary blog posts took 3 weeks to blog about, I’ll tell why on the next blog post.  On our last day at City Garden Grand hotel, we didn’t want to go home yet. So we looked for hotel deals online. One of our friends commented that Seda was already open (since April 2017) and they currently have an introductory price for an overnight stay. So we booked the Deluxe room with 2 free breakfast buffet for 4,665 php.

The spacious reception area. ♥

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From City Garden Grand Hotel, we booked an Uber to Glorietta 5 instead of going straight to Vertis North. It costs around 300+ for an uber ride from Makati to Quezon City that time. So we tried the P2P Bus at Glorietta 5 that will drop us off at Trinoma. Its my first time riding a double decker bus, and it was exhilarating! From Trinoma, well, we walked all the way to Seda.

Another view.

Lighting fixture.

The lounge at night.

An Ann Pamintuan piece near the stairs.

The lounge at the left side of the reception area.

Kenneth Cobonpue’s Bloom chairs! ♥ My favorite!

Check-in was a breeze. Our deluxe room was located on the 5th floor. Here’s how it looks like:

King-size bed. ♥

Lamp was not adjustable huhu.

Another view. ♥

Since we didn’t get to swim at City Garden Grand hotel, we took the opportunity here at Seda. The pool is located on the 3rd floor. The gym was also open but we didn’t try that. The other amenities on the 3rd floor were still under construction. I love the furniture here!

The pool was only 4 feet though. But the view makes up for it. We had clear skies that day and you could see the quezon city buildings. ♥ For dinner, we tried out the food at the ASEAN Food Festival at the parking area of Vertis North. The said mall is still under construction though.

Vito Selma’s Cara-boo. ♥

Obviously.

The next day, we had breakfast at Misto, their in-house restaurant. I love the interiors here, especially the abstract artworks! I wonder who is the artist. I also love their service staff. ♥ They were welcoming and accommodating. The breakfast buffet consists of the following: antipasti, bread station, egg station, noodle station, various local and international viands, desserts, cereals, and juice.

Middle plate: Various longganisa, croissant, and hakaw.

Inggo’s plate: antipasti, cheese, and bread.

Mine: antipasti, bread with blueberry (my favorite!), and scrambled eggs.

I knew we had more food but I forgot to take photos of that. After our breakfast, we relaxed in our room while waiting for our check-out time.

Yes let’s ride again the Cara-boo.

We had a great stay here. Interiors were beautiful, using local furniture designers for most of items in the hotel. We had a broken electric kettle inside our room and they quickly replaced it for us. One problem that we experienced was that there wasn’t any shuttle service to and from Trinoma. We had to walk all the way there to shop. But I think this is only temporary since the Vertis North will open soon. And there’s Uber for the lazy.

And that’s it for our 9th anniversary post. ♥ Thank you to Inggo for everything huhu. I love you!

The 9th – Hole in the Wall

For dinner on our second day, we decided to try out Century Mall’s “food hall“. This is Hole in the Wall on the fourth floor. It consists of various food establishments inside a common dining area.

One of the dining areas during our visit.

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Where we sat during dinner time.

For dinner, we decided to eat at the most popular store there which was Bad Bird. They specialize in chicken. Apparently they won numerous awards in the Philippines.

My Dirty Rice Plate (390 php). Dirty rice (fried rice, chicken liver, bacon, tamago, and bonito), kimchi coleslaw, and 2 pcs fried chicken.

Inggo’s Waffle Plate (360 php). Sweet potato waffles, miso butter, maple syrup, and 2 pcs friend chicken. The 2pcs small balls are hush puppies (+ php)

BB Corn (190 php). Corn on a stick with kewpie, bonito, cheese, and toragashi.

Verdict? We understood why this restaurant is popular with the crowd. But for us, personally, we didn’t like it. We thought it was too expensive for the food. But maybe this is the “normal” price for the Makati crowd. I dunno.

This is just one out of 9 establishments inside Hole in the Wall. I hope we could try the other restaurants when we’re near the area next time.

The 9th – Le Petit Soufflé

On the first day of our 9th anniversary staycation, we discovered that Century Mall is only a 5-minute walk away from our hotel. On the second day, we decided to try out the interesting restaurants there. ♥ Based on online reviews, Le Petit Soufflé is the #1 restaurant in Century Mall.

Pretty interiors.♥

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If I were to describe the interiors, it would be french chic. I love their furniture. ♥

Our drinks: Iced Matcha Latte (130 php) & Hot Matcha tea (100 php). No strong matcha flavor, huhu.

Kinoko Frites (235 php). These are fried enoki and another mushroom. I loved these! But so expensive.

Hambagu with truffled cream & mushrooms. (595 php). This is Inggo’s dish. He craved for Jolibee’s burger steak after eating this.

My dish: Squid Ink Riz (395 php). This took a while. Its a small, but filling dish. I love the fluffy egg & squid ink rice.

Matcha souffle with vanilla syrup (350 php). Expensive! But worth a try. We loved the crispy edges instead of the fluffy insides.

Facade design. So cute huhu.

Verdict? Its worth a try. Not sure if we’ll come back though.

Le Petit Soufflé is located on the Third floor of Century Mall.

The 9th – City Garden Grand Hotel

We celebrated our 9th year anniversary this May! ♥ Instead of going far away this year, we opted for a staycation instead in Metro Manila. I’ve decided to divide the posts into smaller parts. For the first entry is our hotel! We checked in at City Garden Grand hotel for 3 days and nights. I would like to note that this is the City Garden Grand Hotel. They have a sister hotel which is just nearby.

Reception area.

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Check-in was a breeze. You need to present your ID and pay a security deposit at the reception. Then you’ll receive your room card. We got the Superior King Bed room on the 29th floor.

Lobby.

Ceiling details. Love the 3 huge capiz chandelier!

I love our room!  ♥ The bed and pillows were so comfy. Both side tables have equal numbers of power outlets, switches, and telephones compared to others. Wifi was also free (up to 3 devices I think). It has a sophisticated feel to the interiors through the use of dark & neutral tones, accentuated by the use of lights.

Our king size bed with the comfiest pillows. ♥

Bathroom.

Bath tub : the #1 reason that we chose this hotel.

Left: View from our room ♥ | Right: Trump tower! (I did some of the interior plans in my previous job)

For our last day, we had breakfast at Spice Cafe on the 7th floor. You could go ala carte or do the breakfast buffet worth ~800php.

Sadly, the only photos that I took were below. I was too shy to take photos of the others because there were a lot of foreigners that morning HAHA. The breakfast buffet consists of the following: Bread station, fruit station, cheese, chocolate fountain, cereals and yogurt, salad bar, noodle station, egg station, maki station, viands from the Philippines and different countries.

I was satisfied of the buffet because of the bread station with blueberry jam. ♥ He was satisfied because of the unlimited olives & bacon. Service was very nice.

Overall, our staycation was great! No complaints on the room except for the aircon (which took a while to cool, but apparently they replied at our review on Agoda & said aircon was repaired). The hotel was nearby Century mall and other food establishments which was a plus for us. If we had a bigger budget, I’d like to try the Presidential Suite next time.  ♥

City Garden Grand hotel website.

Tuesdays made better

Sydney and I went to the newly opened CBTL branch at Banawe last week. I was supposed to blog about this on Monday to mimic the current hashtag of CBTL Philippines. But we went there last Tuesday so might as well make a parody of it lol. I love the place! It gave ample sunlight that brightened the interior, which in turn made our watercolor session easy.

My Hydrangea postcard that I gave to the baristas. ♥

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I painted sunflowers that day. ♥

Sunflower cone & sunflower stems. ♥

I’ve been thinking of organizing an Art Tambay session for the North peeps. Any suggestions on coffee shops / cafes? 🙂

ID | Resources

Here is a compilation of websites that I usually go to for my interior design work. I’ll probably put a quick link somewhere in my blog for this post. Will continue adding stuff to it in the future!

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Inspiration:

  • Pinterest . My favorite site. It has everything that interests me: interior design, art, watercolors, photographs.
  • Houzz. This is another useful site for inspiration. This one caters to architects & interior designers.
  • Office Snapshots. Compilation of office interiors around the world.

For SketchUp:

For V-ray:

 

Re-learning SketchUp & V-ray

In interior design, there are numerous ways to present your design to the client. It can either be free hand, 3D renders, or a combination of both. That would require knowledge in numerous programs not taught in college. (I’m not sure if its taught now, but back then we didn’t have this). One of the programs is SketchUp. It is a 3D modeling computer program that is useful for interior design. It has a free version called – SketchUp MAKE, and a paid version called – SketchUp Pro.

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SketchUp is my favorite program in 3D modelling. Here are the reasons why:

  1. It’s free to use. For beginners, the SketchUp MAKE will suffice. The 3D Warehouse 3d models are also free.
  2. I could import my plans from Autocad (in .dwg file) to SketchUp, scale it, and then build up the walls from there. (This is for Pro version)
  3. Getting models is easy. It has its own 3D Warehouse accessible from the program itself. There are also numerous websites that provides free/paid models in .3ds & .skp files.
  4. Customizable. I could use any photo I want and use it as a material in SketchUp. For example, if I don’t want to use the default wood textures in SketchUp, I could import a wood texture that I got online and use that.

With SketchUp, I feel like I’m just playing a game of Sims on my laptop. Here is a sample 3D model that I did:

To make it look realistic with all the lights, shadows, etc. You need to use a Rendering plug-in for that. I use V-ray for SketchUp for this. This is not free, but there’s a trial version so you could try it out & decide if this works for you. There are other rendering plug-ins for SketchUp, but I’m used to V-ray. Here is the sample 3D render in V-ray:

Post-processing in Photoshop.

It’s been a while since I’ve last used SketchUp. The time where I used it extensively was way back in 2012, I started relearning again last December 2016. Added that I’ve bought a new laptop the same time, I finally got the chance to render in V-ray since my laptop can finally render quickly. Back then, a simple render would take 8 hours, now it would take around 1-2 hours.

To learn more about SketchUp, here are some useful links:

To learn more about V-ray for SketchUp, here are some useful links:

I hope I’d improve my SketchUp & Vray skills this year! So I could make tutorials and teach others as well. ♥

IKEA Kitchen planner

Currently busy working on a freelance project. I’m doing the kitchen right now. (This post is already delayed by 2 months that I’ve already done this part of the house lol.)The client wanted it all to be IKEA. It’s a good thing that I checked their website for more info. They have an app for planning & 3d modeling with their products!

IKEA kitchen planner.

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The IKEA kitchen planner is a nifty tool that helps you plan & visualize your kitchen. You can input the exact measurements of your kitchen & just select the items that you want to put in the plan. It’s user friendly! Here is a sample plan that I did:

Sample plan.

The middle part is open because I can’t find a counter in their selection. They have their own standard size for the cabinets, but everything else is customizable. From the handles, cabinet door color & style, to the accessories. Here are the 2 different views in 3D:

3D view. Reminds me of sketchup.

3D view #2 with the finishes.

It’s not perfect, but it will suffice. It gave me enough info on the measurements of their cabinets for planning. Another cool thing about this is that you could see the total cost & list of products you chose. You could register to save your work, and then log-in at their physical store so that their Kitchen Specialists can help you plan & design before buying.

That last sentence made me a bit sad though. We don’t have it here in the Philippines. This project is located in Singapore. Anyway, I can’t wait for IKEA to open in the Philippines. I wonder when will that be though.

I hope this app is useful for you! Cheers. ♥

Digital Walker x Recession Coffee

One random Saturday, Inggo & I met with a friend for a food trip at Eastwood. After eating at 2 restaurants (Ramen Kuroda & Beef Barn), we wanted coffee. I suggested we try this place because of its unique selling point. This is Recession Coffee, which is located inside the Digital Walker store in Eastwood mall.

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VSCOcam goodness, lol.

The unique way of ordering. You pay what you want! I paid 150php for mine. Inggo paid 100php in coins.

Cute.

It was okay. But it didn’t satisfy our caffeine cravings. So we went to another coffee shop after this HAHA.

Facebook page | Menu from Zomato

Restaurant Roundups

If I did a Cafe Crawls post last time, what would this be called? Restaurant roundups? Yeah, that would do HAHAHA.

I’m not sure if I already mentioned it on this blog, but I used to do a food blog with Inggo back then. I would take photos of the food & he would write the reviews. Sadly, we don’t do that anymore due to time constraint. But we still go out for food adventures every week. Asides from taking photos of the food, I also take photos of the interiors. So here’s a compilation of restaurant & cafe photos for the year 2016.

Caffe Dolce Buffet, Banawe street.

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Coco Ichibanya, Eastwood.

Happon, Maginhawa street.

Kitchen of Cakes & Coffee, SM North Sky Garden.

Vanilla Cupcake Bakery, Mother Ignacia street.

Not a restaurant or cafe. Just thought that it looked good after the Kitchen of Cakes & Coffee photo. Life After Breakfast‘s booth during Manila Fame.

Makansutra, SM Megamall.

Mongkok Bistro, NAIA 3 Terminal.

Starbucks, Eugenio Lopez street.

Same Starbucks branch during their Teavana drink promo.

St. Marc Cafe. Forgot which branch. Love the dramatic lighting.

Thaipan, Sct. Dr. Lazcano.

 Most of the photos are edited in VSCO, tweaked a bit & watermarked in Photoshop.