I’ll be interrupting today’s sunshiny content to bring you this shit. Why? Because an old issue refuses to die. Stealing is not cool, guys.
Archives for September 2016
Oh, happy days! After waiting for what felt like forever, our engagement ring and wedding bands are here! But first, a little insight:
I have nothing against traditions but personally, I find public proposals overrated. Of course, I’m also reclusive so maybe that’s the reason why I dislike the attention that a public proposal brings.
My fiance was disappointed when I told him I want none of that. When we agreed to get married, we did so by talking about it, setting the date, and planning everything. That includes the rings.
Now, I have a very critical eye and particular taste. And as much as I love my fiance, his tastes don’t really jive with mine.
Wedding rings and engagement rings are the most important jewelry a woman will ever wear in her life. No, it’s not *just* a ring, it represents the relationship.
If you fuck it up, the poor woman will be stuck with these rings forever. Worse, she’ll quietly resent the design eventually causing discord. So yes, an engagement ring is a big deal and not just for its price tag, but for what it represents.
I’ll be honest, I almost did not survive the waiting game but here we are, hahaha!
I know exactly what my dream engagement ring looks like: I wanted a round diamond with tiny sapphires on the sides. I’ve always been fond of sapphires and I wanted to incorporate the stone into my engagement ring.
Also, the stones have to be natural, no lab made nonsense, I want the real thing. Not earth friendly, I know, but this ring is everything to me and all details must be right.
I tried being sneaky, nudging the fiance to the right direction: giving pictures of my dream engagement ring to my best friend in case the boyfriend asks for tips. The pics that I shared with my best friend featured rings with blue sapphires as accent stones on the sides.
Initially, the boyf wanted to go for a princess cut center stone and I was like, “heyl naw.” A princess cut just isn’t practical for me (it snags a lot, it has sharp edges, and I’m a klutz) plus, I honestly dislike how it looks.
Because my fiance is smart (and he got tired of his ring ideas being shot down all the time XD), he let me design my own e-ring, saying he wanted me to “love everything” about it. Ladies, I lucked out, I know! I’m quite relieved that I was a part of the design process because I have plans of staring at my e-ring for the rest of my natural life. I must like what I see XD
TRIVIA: Traditionally, tri-stone engagement rings symbolize the “past, present, and future.”
My ering is kinda like a traditional tri-stone but not really in the sense that the side stones are smaller. I did this on purpose because I wanted the diamond to be the center of attention. With larger, competing side stones, the eyes will be drawn to the darker stones instead of the diamond.
Here’s my dream ring:
The boy did gooood! My goodness, she’s so exquisite in person! I love that the sapphires are not deep blue or almost black, the blue is still noticeable even under dim light.
The band is very slim, thinner than I expected but it made the ring so comfortable to wear. I usually remove my rings when I work because they bother me a bit but not this one!
As for the diamond, the boyf went for quality 🙂 The center diamond is a .51 carat VVS1 color I radiant cut diamond while the side stones are .010 carats (? each) blue sapphires. It came with a certification of authenticity and grade by the jeweler. The fiance been offered larger but poorer quality stones and he said no, he wanted fire and clarity 😀
FYI: VVS1 is just an inclusion away from IF or internally flawless. This means the stone I have has one to two inclusions or flaw. The cut gives off a spectacular light show! It sparkles like no other! I’m happy with his choice 😀 The diamond looks larger on my size 5 finger.
BTW, if you’re shopping for an engagement ring, the stone size isn’t everything, especially if the wearer’s hands are small. I have to admit, I initially wanted a larger stone but I didn’t want the boyfriend to go neck-deep in debt so I went with a half carat diamond.
I did lots of research (can’t you tell?) and found out that the larger the hand, the smaller the stone looks. So, .50 to .70 carat stones look perfect on 4.5 to 5.5 ring size.
Anyhoo, for the wedding bands, I’ve already made a lengthy post about the plain band, which is my second wedding ring. It’s a simple 2 mm white gold domed band in comfort fit. I think that means the band is completely filled in as opposed to having hollow portions on the inner.
The other wedding ring is a 2.5 mm white gold band encrusted with alternating natural sapphires and white diamonds (totalling .15 carats) in a half eternity setting. Gorgeous combination!
So, why did I choose the half eternity? I find that this setting is sturdier and more practical than a true eternity band. There’s no need to worry about losing or cracking a stone when you’re doing household chores or carrying stuff because the gems are set on the sides of the band. Here they are as a trio stack:
Finally, my fiance’s wedding band is a simple size 9.5 4mm gold band with a tiny .03 carat diamond in the center. I love that our wedding bands don’t match but look great together, kinda like how different our personalities are but we work well as a couple, hahaha!
All rings are done by Diamond Fire Manila, a boutique jewelry store located along Jupiter st. in Makati. Cherry (whom I think owns the joint) is such an easy person to work with. The rings turned out exactly how we wanted it. I highly recommend her store!
A tip when buying an engagement ring or any jewelry for that matter, always let the jeweler know about your set budget. I’ve seen some guys balking at the price of a certain ring and instead of working things out to fit their budget, they end up buying from a really shady store or settling for sims.
For instance, the sapphire and diamond-encrusted ring I wore here in this post costs PhP 49K in store. That’s way beyond our total budget for our set (bride and groom’s) and this is just one ring. Instead of settling for a different style, I asked Cherry what she can do at a certain price point. We talked it out, she came up with the results and we couldn’t be happier. So there you go, our wedding ring journey has ended, woot!
A few blogs ago, I mentioned my initial idea of giving away musical carousels for our wedding sponsors but they were so dang expensive we had no choice but to nix it.
Well, well, well… it appears that I wasn’t looking hard enough! Despite settling on aromatherapy sets for our sponsors, I continued to look for suppliers for the musical carousels, hoping to get great deals. Lo and behold, Lazada PH was actually carrying these babies!
I was kicking myself for ignoring the most obvious place to hunt these down cuz I didn’t think they’d have it. When I found out that Lazada carries dem carousels and showed the stuff to the fiance. He was like, “but we’ve already picked out the…?” and I was like:
Poor dude, didn’t have a choice. Ultimately, I got exactly what I wanted, just like always XD
They should arrive sometime this week, so excited!
I wasn’t really into cars because I feel it’s not something I need for every day but I realize now that it’s probably the right time to reconsider my car-less lifestyle. The fiance and I decided to finally get one in anticipation of building a family. My parents are also older now so they need a car to go places, so that’s another thing.
Right off the bat, we didn’t want a tiny car, we want a truck that can seat at least 6 peeps. Here in the province, it’s rare for people to get a cute car because there’s not a lot of space to move around during long drives. We prefer trucks and SUVs because they are roomy, sturdy, and they are made for rough terrain.
My first choice is a Chevy. We have our hearts set on the Trailblazer because it is a gorgeous truck and interiors are just as fabulous. I mean, look at that face:
Unfortunately, the reviews are pretty bad. Although the 2017 Trailblazer is set to debut this September, rumor has it that it will sport the same 4-year old engine so performance is the same as with older models.
Our second choice was Ford Everest. The front isn’t as imposing as the Trailblazer’s but the interiors are luxurious. Our only gripe is the fuel efficiency. This thing is always thirsty so it will cost us more if we use it all the time and we don’t want that.
We “settled” for the Toyota Fortuner and I have to admit, I was not enthused at the idea. Everyone owns a Fortuner and I didn’t want to be just like everyone else. We went to our local dealer to check the *second model* to the top tier and was massively disappointed with the interiors.
We were surprised to learn that at PhP 1.5 million, the car does not offer leather seats, something that Ford and Chevy offer in their second-tier models. Chevy even threw in free leather seats for the base model. The Fortuner looked and felt cheap, which mystified us because this was not the base model. At that price point, we expected more. And it had this ugleh, shit-colored fabric accent that goes all the way to the inner sides of the car doors, which really made it ten times cheap-looking! Pic below:
That interior looks nice because it’s leather. Now imagine that in a neoprene-like material in the same color. Que horror. The cabin also looked dated because it had dark, wood-like enamel accent on the dash.
For those who are detail-oriented like me, the Fortuner is not intuitively designed. For one thing, I have issues with the lever that enable the back seats to fold down and up so people can get in and out the rear seats.
When you pull the level, watch out! The folding motion is very aggressive. I knew about the lever because I read a couple of reviews that mentioned it. Wanting to try it myself, I pulled said lever. Lawrd, the springs were extremely robust to a point where it’s scary to fold the seats.
The sales rep literally looked worried because he thought my hand got caught in there as the seat folded so viciously. I was startled myself!
Speaking of rear seats, they don’t lie flat on the floor unlike the TrailBlazer and Everest. Instead, they fold to the sides, which let’s be honest, looks ugly as fuck (and dated). When the seats are folded, it blocks the view of the side windows as well. There has to be a more aesthetically-pleasing approach to get the rear seats out of the way that this.
Worst, the sales rep himself was urging us to go for the top tier model, which retails at PhP1.7 million, partly because the first model we checked was disappointing.
Don’t get me wrong, as far as features and specs go, the first and second tier models are not that different. But the interiors on the cheaper one are just way too dated for us to ignore. If we were to get a Fortuner, we have no choice but get the more expensive one, which is way off our budget.
On the same day, we decided to pay our local Mitsubishi a visit. We’re not expecting much because the Montero model (AKA PAjero Sport) had troubling acceleration issues in the past and we had no plans of getting one. We dropped by to compare the Montero to the Fortuner. We didn’t expect to be wowed at all. Not one bit.
The GLS Premium (second tier model) was a hundred times better looking than the Fortuner on the inside. The seats are covered with supple black leather. With sleek piano black and aluminum accents, the cabin looked straight up futuristic, hahaha! The more expensive variant comes with woodgrain accent, which I don’t care for.
Inside, the Monty is pretty spacious, especially in the backseat. In the rear seat area, it can be a bit cramped for an adult taller than 5’4. I’m tiny so there’s ample leg room for me to get comfortable.
The Montero Sport also features a lever that folds the backseat up and then down to make way for rear seat passengers. But once the lever is pulled, the back seat folded smoothly, there was no fear of injuring yourself in the process! That’s how it’s done, Toyota, damn.
The rear seats folds flush on the floor (more or less) so it doesn’t look too busy when it’s loaded with stuff:
In terms of fuel efficiency, the Montero is comparable to Fortuner, according to reviews (and I read a lot). Fortuner’s edge over Montero? The top tier model comes with a rear door that automatically opens and closes with a touch of a button. Plus, extra airbags for the driver’s knees and a more advanced control system. But all these features are a given when you’re gunning for the best model in the line.
Side by side, the cheaper version of the Fortuner pales in comparison with Mitsubishi’s second tier Montero Sport. I read comparison reviews on both models and Montero Sport always came on top. Our only gripe is that the driver size is a little cramped because of the wider console in the middle of the cabin. But this is not a deal breaker at all.
In the end, we went with our gut and chose Montero Sport AT GLS Premium in Mystic Blue (simply Sapphire or midnight blue, really). Still way off our budget but considering what we’re getting, the extra expense is well worth it. It helps that we know someone from the inside so we got a better deal.
Our new car should arrive this month so hopefully, in time for the wedding.