Purple Beetle…

PURPLE BEETLE

“Where focus goes, energy flows.”~Tony Robbins~

It all started with this photo.

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Courtesy of: http://www.imgrum.org/media/1276837540570395942_1725691340

This is probably one of the most beautiful dream catcher that I’ve seen. It isn’t a painting, it isn’t a drawing, but a photo of a real dream catcher (s). Not just one but several dream catchers put together creating a very beautiful masterpiece. I’ve always thought and assumed that it is somewhere not near, maybe in a different country.

Then one day, while browsing for hotels to stay out of town, I came across this cafe in Lipa, Batangas. It’s called Purple beetle.

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A graffiti of a native Indian struck me, with all kinds of dream catchers surrounding it. Colorful feathers here and there. As I went further, a very familiar window captured my attention. It was that window with the dream catchers I’ve seen months ago. I couldn’t believe that it is here in my country.

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If I can only “DIY” this! ❤

As if running out of time, I immediately asked Jen to visit Batangas because I really wanted to see this cafe. There have been many blogs about it, though I really wanted to see it myself.

We were able to squeeze it with our busy schedules. Just recently, we decided (finally – after contemplating if we can do it) to go to the gym regularly. Adding up another activity that we try to manage inspite of our conflicting schedules tons of work in the office and at home.

We took a bus from Alabang, and it took us less than 2 hours to reach Lipa, Batangas. I must not forget to mention that I admired the town for its’ cleanliness, the roads are very organized, bus stations are situated in just one location giving comfort to commuters and tourists alike.

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Lipa City never felt like a province to me. I saw McDonalds one block after another, I saw a total of 3 McDonalds in Lipa. It was funny, because in my own hometown, I am happy that our village is in front of McDonalds, however, the next is an hour ride from its’ location. Very province right?!

The main roads in Lipa are a bit wider too, and before we reached our destination. It was inspiring to discover that Purple beetle is sandwiched by known restaurants like Army Navy, two very popular coffee shops: CBTL and Starbucks, and you will be surprised
to witness that despite of the competitors surrounding the place, their tables were seldom empty. When we arrived, we even have to wait for some tables to be vacated and we never had the chance to choose spots we like. I don’t mind, I’m just after that window with the dream catchers.

They also sell boho stuff: of course dream catchers in all sizes, hairdresses, boho tops and dresses, tasseled bags, shawls, and mandala spreads.

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Let’s take a look at their menu:

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We opted to have nachos salad and quesadillas which they called “Pizzadilla” because it has toppings too. I had my purple slush and Jen had coffee.

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Much as I do not want to be too transparent in my blogs. The place is just hype, famous among Millennials (Coachella type), but they need to make another study when it comes to the food that they’re offering.

The pizadilla, since it has toppings and fillings at the same time, tasted nothing but salty. No feel of the other ingredients due to its’ saltiness. The tortilla wasn’t able to balance it, apparently, my palette normally requires salty taste from time to time, but this one I couldn’t tolerate.

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In all my travels, several times I’ve proven that a picture can literally speak a thousand words. One can look so beautiful in pictures, when in reality, it is not that pretty if not disappointing. Honestly, the photos enticed me. The likes of Sonya’s Garden, Prado farm weren’t that pretty in reality. They were pretty in their own terms, but they didn’t have that “wow” factor. That feeling of satisfaction that you’re happy you came.

Jen was too positive to tell me that out of the many travels we’ve made, the disappointments are very few. That most travels made us happy because it surpassed our expectations. One piece of advise is to seek opinion of those who saw a specific place already. And you’ll never go wrong. Besides, it is always been a part of the adventure. Usually, it is not the place, it is the adventure itself.

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PURPLE BEETLE  is at Ayala Highway, Lipa City, Batangas Philippines 4217. You can send them email at: hello@purplebeetle.com.ph with telephone number: 0998-855-7732.

 

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Like a child at 14 Four Cafe

Fourteen Four Cafe

“Every Summer, like the roses, childhood returns.” ~Marty Rubin~

I’ll always love blogging. =)

For my “I am blogger” photo. Credits to: http://www.freepik.com/

14 Four cafe logo courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/14FourCafe/

As a child, I grew up in my parents’ house with a huge lawn where I play hide and seek with my cousins, with my dog and with my papa. I incurred scars in my knees because I wanted to run faster than our dog. I put mud in my mini cooking plate and let it dry for a day so we will have a cake the morning after.

I miss that huge lawn, we took care of dozens of love birds and I remember waking up with their chirping calling out my mom as if announcing that it’s already feeding time. My dog’s name is Tsandu. It is taken from a character’s name from my father’s story line in Filipino comics way back mid-70s. He was an illustrator. An artist.

In that lawn, different kinds of plants are grouped in corners. Some pots are even painted in varying colors. There is a huge star apple tree that gives shade to the whole area making it an ideal place to relax in our green 4-seater garden set. In some corners, you’ll see huge lava rocks which my papa brought home when we went hiking in Mt. Mayon. Along with over-sized sea shells which he also brought home from several beaches that we’ve been to. The other side of the house is with roof because it is where our garage is. You will often hear the likes of Frank Sinatra, Matt Monroe, Elvis Presley serenading you in a humid afternoon. He is fond of Tchaikovsky too. During weekends, my parents invite relatives to have barbecue with us.

I really look up to weekends. When my mom starts preparing pre-sliced pork and marinate them, I get so excited. At the main entrance, a realist painting, (a wedding gift to my parents by my uncle who happens to be an artist too, he’s a known painter during the 70s) will welcome you. If you’re a stranger , upon passing by that house, you would have guess that it is owned by some sort of an artist. And it is. My papa was popular then, I see him being mobbed by people asking their comics to be signed by him. I was just a spectator admiring him from afar.

I had to plot this specific day trip with Jen and travel for hours to reach a very similar place. Jen hadn’t sleep yet, she just came from work, and I’m thankful that she easily gave in to my whims. This place really brought me back to that time while I was still a child. When I first saw it, 14 Four Cafe being tucked in the vicinity of Tanay, Rizal, brought me to memory lane. Since we are from the South, it was really difficult for us finding it, as we are not similar to that place.

Some drivers doesn’t even know where 14 Four Cafe is. And finally, when we reached it. I felt like a child once again. I roamed around instantly without even informing the attendants who pleasantly welcomed us of the instruction given to us when we reserved a table for two as they do not accommodate walk-in guests. Visits are limited too, which is an advantage since they can better taking care of guests unlike when it is peak, attendants will be so busy. Their service, since guests are limited is more personal.

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Now I know that 14 4 is the # of their house.
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I captured some millennials enjoying their stay as well.

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Ironically, even if we found it hard to locate, guests keep coming. The house, more so, the whole place speaks for the artist who owns it. It is owned by Nikki Sambile, a designer. His father, who happens to be an artist too (like my father), showcases his furniture collection on this same place too.

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I want these chairs in my garden too. =)
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Photo credits: https://www.facebook.com/14FourCafe/

Can you imagine that I traveled all the way from Laguna just to have this vegetarian dish? It is Veggie Quesadilla with pesto soaked tomatoes, shitakes, melted mozzarella topped with garlic crema. It has grilled eggplants too and nachos on the side. While Jen, still full from our real lunch on our way to Rizal (2pc. chicken please! lol!), had something light and sweet. She had Amaretto French toast. She chose it because of the toasted almonds. She was overwhelmed with the whipped cream though.

Lighter meal for us.

It was funny that they have Milo to offer as drinks. It really reminded me of my childhood days. I was a Milo kid then.

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I ❤ Milo! =)

I would even eat it alone scooping portions continuously.

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Table for two?=)

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Nope, I actually visited because I needed an inspiration. Being an artist myself, I have to see others in that same niche too.

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An artist’s imagination is infinite.
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Rustic type of a faucet and its’ basin.
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This is the showroom of Stick designs. http://www.14fourcafe.com/location.html

Get the feel of it and be inspired instantly!

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I am not that happy with this photo. We were not able to capture all the colors behind me.

Which surely I did! We don’t even want to leave and hoping to stay longer, however, like I said, it took us almost half of that day traveling.

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So, we left after relaxing in one of the couches al fresco, wondering if we can make time to really come back. Maybe.

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Siesta – afternoon nap.

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They’re a favorite of those whose about to wed too, for pre-nup photos. =)

14 Four Cafe is located at:
144 Magnolia Lane, Gregoria Heights Subdivision, Bgy San Isidro
Taytay, Rizal

For reservation, you can call them at: 0999 888 0144

Niña’s Kitchen in Biñan, Laguna

Niña’s Kitchen in Biñan, Laguna

“Everyday may not be good, but there is always something good in everyday.”

Niña’s Kitchen is probably one the most talked-about restaurant in Laguna. Or becoming if I may say. It is a residential house which ground floor they turned into a commercial one, serving Filipino dishes (with a tweak) from breakfast to dinner.

I have been seeing it every so often from social media threads lately and out of curiosity, I dragged Jen one Sunday afternoon.

What made it more famous than its’ competitors is because it was endorsed by our former Ms. Universe since the owner is a friend (and a classmate) of hers.

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Photos and memories..

The most photographed item that they offer per my research is the “suman sa lihiya (lye)”. So it was my first reason why I wanted to visit their place. My mom used to prepare this before, and I really miss it. She is old already and can’t perform usual tasks anymore.

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The place is snug, there are decorative objects equally distributed in the garden,

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there’s even a bike with a basket holding a bouquet of flowers, which created a country-feel and very laid-back scenery. Relaxing and thought-provoking as well.

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The dining area is quite huge, which can hold more or less 50 guests. There are actually three separate rooms to dine and we chose the one in a corner. The space outside is huge too.

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It leads to the front yard too though it stays unopened and the entrance for guests is the one in the main dining hall where the counter and kitchen is situated.

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Jen and I both sitted in the tufted bench beside that gorgeous red door.

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On your left upon entrance is the stairs with quotes that I spotted in several blogs. So I made sure we have a picture on it. #thisthingwithstairs

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The decors that are equally distributed in every corner were hints that most of which were from the owner’s many travels.

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We’re supposed to order pasta and burger, but they’re no longer available. According to the attendant, there was a surge earlier. When we came before dinner time, only three tables were occupied giving me the liberty to take photos of items that are interesting to me.

We then chose pizza with pepperonis and still they’re no longer available. We ended up ordering the one with mushrooms. Jen ordered for the churros and I got my suman sa lihiya.

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As a disclaimer, the attendant warned us that the pizza must be consumed immediately. The pizza is good, a healthy option since it is meatless. But true enough, in all fairness, we were warned, the pizza dough got firmer, and it’s no longer chewy to the bite.

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The churros for me is over-rated, there is nothing special to it except for that mint leaf, just as how you expect churros to be, while the chocolate dip is good, it didn’t remind me of a brand, and only a good chef can do it or it is home-made. =)

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The Filipino way of gathering is skillfully interpreted in this place. Local favorites infused with some internationally known dishes and a homey ambience. Huge tables, family pictures, souvenirs, hanging plants, a Sto. Nino to guard the place, the greenery, makes-up for the over-all cozy feel.

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Surely, we can celebrate some occasion here with friends and family. Or maybe even if without something to celebrate. =)

It is located at:

Lot 32 Blk. 8, Silmer Village, Biñan, Laguna. You can call them at: 0915-649-3952

 

LUCINA Home…

Lucina Home

“An artist cannot fail, it is a success to be one.” ~Charles Horton Cooley~

Christmas is my favorite season of the year. I remember myself as a child helping my father in putting up our Christmas tree. He will assign me to neatly hang all the embellishments and he will be in charge of the lights. I look up to it.

Now that he’s gone, it is our 5th year celebrating the season without him. And me putting up the tree alone.

Despite of that sad part, I still am excited to put up my tree. I collect photos of the grandest trees and search for places where can I get my decors. I also wanted to create “DIYs” as my trimmings. I assign what color to use each year.

Come November, I was able to visit this shop in Tagaytay which I’m eyeing for years now. Lucina Home.

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This caught me while I was about to enter the shop…

I have talked to the owner last year that I am visiting them for a project,
however said project didn’t push through for having a full plate during the “ber” months.

So I made time for it. I can’t wait to see their items. And when I did? I can’t get enough of it. I hoarded decors for my tree,

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It’s that time of the year when you’re excused for splurging.

I bought some for my boss too, a cute notebook for my foodie buddy, gifts for friends and I promised to come back for more.

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All the cute stuff are here..
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Even repros of famous paintings..
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Even millennial stuff..=)

What made the visit sweeter is the manner of their attendants tending to guests, Paul, whom I have been talking to since last year was there. Paul was busy unpacking and arranging stuff which I must assumed has recently arrived.

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You can find best finds from all corners..

They also introduced me to to Joey. Both were meticulously checking their displays, inter-acting with guests, and giving me discounts!

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I saw from google a chandelier filled with Christmas baubles, and then I saw this. It is beautiful..

Yes, Joey even gave me one of my best finds for free! It is a unique dream catcher without the real feathers on it as the whole thing is made of stainless steel.

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I accidentally saw it while I was waiting for them wrapping the items I’ve bought. And I shrieked (sorry) upon seeing it. It was glaring in front of me hanging on one of their stands and instantly grab it, head to the cashier’s counter to add it to my purchases.

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I think this is where I found the dream catcher..
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And this is where Jen found the lighthouse..
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I actually eyed this for our porch..=)

It was such a surprise when the cashier told me that she was instructed by her boss (Joey) that the dream catcher will be free. Awww! it was really sweet.

There’s this one attendant too who is such a good up-seller. He knew what I wanted and kept on gathering similar items and giving them to me.

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Christmas stuff..
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Jen hoarding!
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Such a cool idea, egg shells, painted in pastels as Christmas wreaths and can be used for Easter too.. =)

Leaving with shopping bags on both hands, I knew then that there’s going to be a second visit, and a third and a fourth. I think you know what’s it like to find something you’ve been looking for. It’s like “Eureka”!

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Vintage, shabby and chic..
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All the elements you need for Christmas..
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They have furniture too..

I’ve been hunting for a shop like theirs in the country for so long. An array of what I want, shabby chic items, vintage, quirky, artsy, bohemian and unique finds. Actually, I’ve taken photos of some that I intend to get soon.

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Don’t you love that gilded mirror?
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How about that cabinet?
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And that pastel chair..

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They sell hand-painted furniture too. Something which I will be saving for. A piece in pastel pink or two will absolutely spell happiness. Until then.

ARTE MONDO…

Arte Mondo…

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” ~Albert Einstein~

As part of of a personal project I’m working on. Attending fairs and exhibits helped me a lot to broaden my horizon and discover more possibilities that helps me with my growth.

Arte Mondo was part of a recent fair that I visited. Their booth showcased some of the original designs of several designers located inside the compound of Henry hotel in Pasay City, Manila.

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=)

Their booth’s attendants were vigilant enough to invite us to check out their shops at F.B. Harrison St., Pasay City.

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My frog prince..=p

I am very willing to see it and who else can I tag along here, but Jen. She has her own thing lately and busy as a bee, she just got promoted and spends more time at work. Though, it’s nice to see her flourishing, the “late bloomer” that she is. Long way to go, but with each progress, I’ve always knew, she will be there. While I’m happy that she can still allot time to accompany me wherever our feet leads us.

It was also good to know that a year ago, when I missed an event by Travelling Trunk, and this time, I’ll make sure I won’t miss it.

As you see, there’s always some level of excitement each time I set a date to check out works of fellow artisans. They literally inspire my soul. They give me hope and aspire bigger dreams. I never wanted to lose that kind of hope. Ever. That someday, I will be a major part of some cool projects that will be witnessed by many. Especially those who are close to my heart. Like a full circle. A kind of journey to something new. A creative process.

Please take a look.

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Reminded me to light my garden..
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Foyer..
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I can’t wait to wander..
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Don’t forget to look up, there’s more..
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Kitchen stuff..
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A wall is full of beautiful plates.
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Scents..
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They have one of my favorite scents – verbena..
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Kendi!!!
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I took a photo of my favorite.. that insert of floral..
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Little mason jars..

I thought I had enough when the attendant directed us to go up as there are more displays on the second floor..

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I honestly felt here a “deja vu”..
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This set-up will welcome you upon reaching the second floor.
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I have qualms to sit and try the cushions when the attendant asked me to try. So I did, and I had my photo here..
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This is the door to the terrace…
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On the left side are framed birds of different species..
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And on the other room is a Trompe l’oeil..

The second house is equally amazing…

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Vintage..
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An antique stand holds the poster reflecting the names of the designers..
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Nothing but Art..
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This one is a collection of tea cups, jars and glasses.
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These are display items in different shapes and sizes. Materials used are old pages of books..
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There’s a little girl in the glass..
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Behind the door is an art depicting inca symbols..

Our last stop is:

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On a bamboo easel..
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My grandmother has a cabinet like this..
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Indirect lighting definitely adds drama to any area..
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The soaps are wrapped in floral papers and were neatly arranged in such a way that it looked delicious to me..=)

The hard part is to decide when to go back again. Jotting it down in my calendar, since I spotted items as Christmas gifts to friends and loved-ones. =)