Thursday, May 29, 2014

I left my heart in tokyo

Photos  by Edward Kim

( Crop Top- Hollister, Skirt- JcPenney, Purse & Sunnies- Forever21)

Greetings, lovelies! 

I haven't blogged in a while cause I haven't gotten the chance to get any new clothes for summer. I find it so tempting when you want to buy everything in a store, but you can't, since you have no source of income. The struggle is too real. BOOHOO. 

Anyways, I've been pulling up old shoots I did since I haven't written about them. Might as well share them with y'all!!

So this is a shoot I did last summer with Edward, at the Japanese Gardens in Van Nuys, CA. I'd been so oblivious to this place because I never thought that the San Fernando Valley would have a Japanese Garden at all- Thank God for google!

Admission was only $3 per person (if I remember correctly) and it's truly such a beautiful place to take pictures at. The lighting is perfect during the daytime, and there's a tea house where you and your friends can relax in while drinking tea. It wasn't open yet when we went, so maybe Edward and I will shoot here again this summer! 

I styled this effortless outfit with pieces that every girl has in her closet. A black skater skirt and a crop top. I chose a polka dotted pattern since It would contrast more with the plain, black skirt. Finishing it up, I wore these nude, open toed, ankle strapped heels. This outfit definitely has a  "I didn't try too hard to look pretty" feel. What do you guys think?

If you're up for a little adventure this weekend, head on over to Temecula Valley, for their Balloon & Wine Festival. I've always been fascinated with hot air balloons because of their dazzling designs and how high they get up in the sky! I'll be in attendance so I'm hoping to get nice shots of the hot air balloons in flight, during the sunset balloon launch. 

Stay tuned for my next post!

Xo, Lara

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lara Croft Cosplay @ Mayon Volcano, Philippines

Photos by Vera Bersabal

Cosplay: the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game, especially one from the Japanese genres of manga and anime.

If you're not too familiar with the cosplay realm then you must be living under a rock. I'm totally kidding! I never knew what it was til my sisters told me about it a couple years ago. But to help the noobs out, the definition above pretty much explains it all. 

Cosplayers take in their inspirations from animes, movies, and comic books. It's not just about looking like the character but being one with him/her. So better be sure you got some acting skills up your sleeve. 

Cosplayers usually make their own costumes but a small number of them prefer on buying it. I truly admire all the hardwork that goes into making each costume. It's not just about getting the exact color of clothing but paying attention to the tiniest of details. Some outfits may be super easy like a simple maid outfit while others can be super challenging; take for example Final Fantasy characters. They have so much going on with their hair, body straps, armory, accessories, and weapons. Not to mention, these creative individuals also make their own weapons; from swords, to axes, and shields. Gotta give them props for having so much patience in painting and designing their gear. 

For my Lara Croft costume I didn't have to make it since all her clothing pieces were easily attainable at clothing stores. The entire outfit cost me approximately $27 minus the boots since I already had them. Just in case you're wondering, Vera's cosplaying as Corporal Levi from Attack On Titan.

It was a scorching afternoon when my sis and I shot at this historic, yet active volcano site in the Philippines. Just imagine 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 90% humidity- YIKES! Socal summer temps can't even compare to the Philippine tropical weather. 

Vera and I were both wearing pants so we were slowly melting in them. We got some running shots since Lara does a lot of running in the video game particularly fleeing from merciless wolves. I wasn't able to bring my sister's baretta guns since it wouldn't pass TSA in the airport so I had to settle with old white rags used as bandages to spruce up my costume. 

So you're all probably wondering why I decided to blog about cosplay! To look at the bigger picture, cosplay is another form of expressing ones self through the inspiring works of animes, comics, & movies.  It's related to fashion because not only is it a form of art but it's used as a voice to channel our inner creativity and boost our self esteem. That's what fashion's all about right?

Whether it's for cosplay or just dressing up for fashion, don't ever be discouraged to use your freedom of expression to reveal who you truly are as a person. 

XO, Lara

Friday, May 16, 2014

Wanderlust (Snakehips Remix)- The Weeknd


Photos by Vera Bersabal 

(Halter Top- Brandy Melville, Floral white lace skirt- Hollister, Sunnies- zeroUV

It's spring but it's been feeling like summer with all the high temps this week, right? I needed a new change so I chopped my hair off! It no longer feels dead and dry- Peace out split ends! 

When I bought this cute top from the brandy warehouse sale, I already envisioned of pairing it up with the white lace skater skirt that had been hanging in my closet for months (Last time I used this skirt was back in December when I worked at Hollister). Thank goodness I didn't get rid of the skirt; if I did then  I wouldn't be blogging about this retro outfit! 

I didn't want to have the focus on my feet so I paired it up with these  nude, open toe ankle strapped heels. It looks like the Steve Madden- Marlenee but that one is out of my price range so I opted for a more affordable one at Fashion Q for $15. 

My matefit tea package came in the mail on monday and I'm excited to try their 14 day teatox cleanse. I've been feeling really bloated ever since I've been back from the Philippines (it even shows in my pictures- i know, how embarrassing). I couldn't stick to my no rice diet while staying there because rice is their #1 staple food. Hopefully this teatox gets me energized to workout consistently and get my tummy back to its shape. 

I couldn't think of a name for this outfit so I titled it after a song that I felt was suitable for this look. The Snakehips remix gives the song a groovy funk feel to it which I absolutely adore. Makes me just wanna dance whenever my ipod plays it. Check it out and tell me what you guys think! 

Xo, Lara 

Monday, May 12, 2014

The City

While staying in the city, I crashed at my Aunt's condo in Mandaluyong. The view from the 26th floor is just spot on. To the left is the Wak Wak Country Club and straight ahead is the SM Megamall. It's the building with the black and white design. They don't call it a megamall for no reason. It's basically 2 malls in 1 (megamall A & megamall B) There's an ice skating rink, a bowling alley, a church, buffets/restaurants and of course endless  floors of stores! I actually got lost trying to find the location where my sis and I were dropped off! Maybe it's because I don't do well with directions. 

The Fort Strip is the place to be if you're all about the social night scene. For my last night in the phillies, my niece took my sis and a couple of our girls to URBN nightclub. Lucky for us, it was ladies night so drinks were coming from all directions. 

A mini restaurant that caught my sister's eye while perusing through the Greenbelt Mall. Wish we got the chance to look at their menu! 

I'm more of  a french toast girl when it comes to breakfast. The Pancake House serves the lightest french toast I've ever had in my life- so far. I hate when it's cooked too thick because  I feel so bloated after eating a plate. With this one, you don't have to worry at all because it's cooked to perfection. It's very light in your mouth plus it's sprinkled with the right amount of cinammon. I totally gobbled up my plate within minutes!


Who screams for ice cream?! Well, I do. If you're familiar with the Magnolia Ice Cream brand, then you know it's the best ice cream in manila dating back to 1899.  My mom had the pleasure of treating my sis and I to a bowl full of goodness at the Magnolia House. She used to actually have lunch with her coworkers at this very place. But instead of a normal lunch, they  would eat ice cream. Silly, isn't it? 

We ordered the cutest bowl on their menu- Ernie & Bert. 1 scoop of strawberry ice cream and 1 scoop of ube (taro/purple sweet yam) ice cream. It's topped off with 2 waffle cones giving Ernie & Bert hats. It was accompanied with 3 pipes of fresh made whipped cream, froot loops, and sprinkles. I like how their dairy products taste pure. Maybe it's because they treat their cows with TLC- haha. 

Jake from Adventure Time on a chocolate milk drink?! Totally had to get him.
Strange but  true. Grocery stores don't store their milk boxes in fridges. They just sit on the shelf just like cookies. The reason behind it is because they use a chemical that preserves the milk in its container without spoiling. Refrigeration isn't needed. Only when opened, then, can you place it in a fridge. Pretty cool, huh? 

Yabu: House of Katsu serves THE BEST CHICKEN KATSU. Period. The chicken is well seasoned in every bite!  It's cooked in 165 degrees celsius and fried in canola oil. After, it lays to rest, ensuring that the meat preserves its fine juices.

 They offer endless cabbage salad and rice with all their katsu dishes. Chef Kazuya Takeda allows each customer to prepare his/her katsu sauce. Each person is given a mortar and pestle filled with white and black sesame seeds. After grinding the seeds, simply add their secret sauce. Mix well and there you have it- the ultimate dipping sauce for your meal! 

Please open one here in California!!! 

Watch out Pizzarev & pieology; You have competition coming your way! Project Pie is another build your own pizza port. I created my very own hawaiian pizza with mushrooms. NOM NOM NOM! They're opening up a Glendale location at the Americana at Brand later this year so be sure to check it out when they open! 

tune in for my next post. 

XO, Lara

Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe

Photos by Kassey Cordova

(Muscle Tee & shorts - Brandy Melville, Jean Shirt- F21)

Here's a couple of oldie pics back in december. I'm sorta missing the cool weather since it's going to be in 100s this week! Wahh! I'm trying to fit a few shoots in this week so please be patient guys. 

XO, Lara 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sweet Tooth

 Magnum Manila Cafe at SM Aura.

 Located in Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila 

Ice cream enthusiasts unite! If you've never had a magnum ice cream bar, then you've been missing out.

 Magnum's silky ice cream coated with thick belgian chocolate is heaven on a stick. 


For 100 pesos ( $2.27 ) you can create your own magnum bar! 

To keep everything mess-free, the cafe has an appointed server for each customer.  


"good evening, ma'am! which three toppings would you like?" 

As the lady greeted me with a smile, my train of thought just vanished. By looking at the toppings selection I couldn't make up my mind! There was too much to take in. 

I chose only  2 toppings. Chocolate drops and mini marshmallows. I wasn't too sure if cheesecake bites would've been great with it. 

"Ma'am would you like the vanilla ice cream bar or the chocolate? And would you like it to be dipped in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or golden milk chocolate?" 

All this chocolate talk was making my head spin. 

"I'll have the chocolate bar dipped in milk chocolate, please." 

I've never tried the magnum chocolate bar so I went on with that. Double the chocolate. What was I thinking?! 

"Ma'am which sauce would you like? White Chocolate, Golden Milk Chocolate, or Milk Chocolate?" 

"The golden milk chocolate should do."

Then, after working her crafty magic, there it was. Right before my very eyes... My own heavenly creation. 

"Here you go ma'am, enjoy. come again soon!" 

I took one bite and I was in another world. A world of neverending sweetness.

Sweet tooths enjoying their evening at the magnum cafe.

XO, Lara

Monday, May 5, 2014

Anvaya Cove// Morong, Philippines

Hey Guys,  I'm back! 3 weeks without blogging definitely felt out of the ordinary since I was in the Philippines enjoying my spring break. I'm still a little jetlagged but I'll do my best to entertain you all. 


I literally felt like I was in paradise when I stayed overnight at this exquisite, members only- resort. The pool was my go to spot due to the fact they had 3 separate pools that connected to one another. To avoid the heat, my girls and I pool-hopped til the sun set. 

Anvaya had many activities for their members to enjoy throughout their stay. Beach Volleyball, Tennis, Fishing, Parasailing, Banana Boat, and  ZIplining were among the choices.

I went on the banana boat ride which, surprising to say, frightened me. I'm not a fan of the ocean because I don't know how to swim. I know, that's so embarassing! Anyways, as the banana boat shifted from side to side going against the current, I held on for my dear life.  Thank goodness I made it back to shore- pheww!

I'm not a baby when it comes to heights so I went  ziplining! Although I wish the course was longer, I enjoyed every moment of my ride. The ocean was a clear view to my right while the forest was to my left. The wind running through my hair and trees below my feet; everything in that moment was perfect. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take my camera with me because all electronics were prohibited! 

White sand between your toes, Cabanas draped with white linens filled with beds for you to lie in, & waiters standing by ready to take in your requests. What more could you possibly ask for? 

  Pico De Loro//Nasugbu, Philippines 

Pico De Loro was named after a mountain which held the shape of a bird's beak. This resort is also a members only vacation house making it exclusive to the public. 

Purchasing a property share starts at 9,000,000 pesos ($204k) and works its way up to 23,000,000 pesos ($521k) depending on your room of choice. If you're not interested in buying property, then the Pico de Loro hotel is more than happy to accomodate you.

The resort offers a wide variety of entertainment for all ages. There are karaoke rooms, a bowling alley with pool tables, several bars, and kiddie playgrounds just to name a few. 

If you're more on the family friendly side then Pico de Loro is the resort for you. 

I'll be posting more articles sometime this week. 

XO, Lara

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