Saturday has always been my favorite day. It’s the weekend that comes with another free day after it. Unlike Sunday, that’s way too close to Monday, Saturday really feels like a mini vacay! Since 2013 started and I have managed to get myself involved in so many things, I haven’t really had much time to have a lazy Saturday. But I have managed to squeeze in spontaneous little activities to make my Saturday a lil bit different from every other day of the week.

I did have a big meeting this morning for my number one 2013 project (read: cafe), but the rest of Saturday is for yoga and art. Ooooh…that sounds nice and cultured.

I have rediscovered my love for yoga (that’s for another post) so I’ve made time for yoga today (this post better end soon so I make it to the studio in time!). And right after that, am off to “Art In The Park.”


If I remember correctly, I’ve only made it to “Art In The Park” once a few years back. Been wanting to catch it again since. They’re having it from 3pm to midnight today so that gives me a lot of time to explore!


And tomorrow, I’m heading over to Manila Fame!

Been seeing a whole lot of beautiful instagram posts and been hearing about great buys, especially for women’s accessories. I think I could invest in some Filipino-designed bling!

It’s a busy week for Filipino creativity! And that’ll give me enough material to resurrect this blog 🙂

Happy artsy weekend!



Woes of a Mother Packer

I love to travel. I really do. But somehow, the skill I was so proud to possess as a 9 year old is now the very skill I loathe. When I was 9, my mom and dad brought me along to my first long haul trip that was going to take me to Disneyland. I was in seventh heaven. I paid close attention to the intricacies of travel and was so proud to have been able to pack my own bag and help my parents with theirs. It was part of the entire achievement of travel. It made me feel like a grown-up.  I guess I thought that if I could pack then I could most definitely travel.

But here we are, 19 years later and I do declare — I love to travel but I hate to pack for travel! Whoever said packing light was the way to go clearly wasn’t keen on changing clothes daily! Packing is especially difficult for someone as obsessive compulsive about it as I am. I have a “what to bring” list that I have created and kept updated through the years. I get started on my list then I check the weather at my destination. I list down the days of travel, match each day to the weather and the itinerary and plan out each outfit for each day and activity. I then match the accessories, doing my best to choose pieces I could easily match with most the aforementioned outfits. Careful deliberation goes to how many pairs of shoes to bring and which purses to pack.

By the time I’ve done all these, I would have used up several hours of my time. One would think that after so many trips (5 plane rides this year and more to go), I’d get used to it. But, really, how does one get used to editing a wardrobe down to a few pieces?!

Sigh…the last thing I’d want is to feel like my outfit could have been better had I packed a certain scarf or another pair of trousers.

Then again, packing really is a good exercise for us…to simplify, to try to live with the bare minimum, to stick to the essentials. Especially if you’re on a budget flight that gives you 15kg for your luggage! Now, that’s practice for being super duper zen.

So…let me end this here so I can finish packing!

Don’t even get me started on packing your life to move houses…that, is a whole other post or 2..or 10!


photo borrowed from:

so sharp

those who know me know that not only do i love typography, but that i love penmanship even more. i believe in hand-writing…and have even been asked by friends to pen their tattoos (you know who you are, you crazy kids).

in being obsessed with ink-to-paper writing, i am also quite particular with my pens. i don’t even flinch with an ounce of shame when i say that, you know – i love my muji 0.5 pens. and my sakura souffle pen (but only in grey). ball point pens? only the papermate kilometrico fine point will do.

the collection wouldn’t be complete, though, without the quintessential black permanent marker. yes, the sharpie. the once ‘simple black marker’ has been re-invented to now include a range of rainbow colours and pocket-size pens, among other forms. just this week, the company released another new product: the sharpie liquid pencil. this new pen(cil) writes like a pencil, with the ‘lead’ (liquid graphite) erasable for up to three days. the ink then becomes permanent thereafter.

i’ll have to try it to believe it. it doesn’t make complete sense to me to merge two items with such distinct functions – just choose the one you want and use that, really. if it was a thick, traditional marker, then maybe i’d see the point. seems slightly gimmicky to me…am i missing something here? indecisive writers’ new tool?!

maybe we should all just stick to the magic pen that writes in helvetica!


[sharpie ad from adbakery]

a medium-rare GQ with a side of vogue.

looks like going ‘e’ isn’t the only way magazines can continue to expand their brands.

anyone who dreams of working in the ‘glitzy’ world of magazine publishing dreams of working at condé nast. oh vogue! oh gq! oh architectural digest! oh traveler! my bubble only momentarily burst when mr. newhouse and his comrades decided to fold my favourite shelter magazine last year.

i suppose if traditional print is…dwindling…then you gotta do what you gotta do to keep the brand shiny and relevant. the solution? condé nast will license their titles for use in a series of restaurant ventures. a hong kong-based management team will focus on launching bars and eateries located outside of the u.s that will be named after magazines that have international editions.

it just might work. personally, i’ve always been adamant on supporting the indies, on brushing off hype, but from my travels i’ve seen that ‘branded’ eateries often find success in asia. admittedly, my other co-blogger over at doubleshots and i always reunite for nostalgia at the always-busy agnès b. cafe in hong kong.

just remember though, the extension of a brand is only as strong as the core brand. then again, at least it might be a better idea than continuing to publish questionable oil spill-inspired fashion spreads?


[photo by annie leibovitz for vogue. yes, that’s lady gaga!]


…that’s the number of unique books in the world, according to google. this news was one of today’s most retweeted items in the publishing twitterverse.

but is this number accurate? the ISBN inclusion of a turkey probe ‘as an april fool’s joke’ makes me wonder. and their definition of a ‘tome’ surely can’t assure that duplications don’t occur.

you may or may not know that google has been attempting to digitise millions of books, resulting in the the now infamous google books settlement. what began with google providing free access to scanned text in libraries has become a lawsuit on copyright infringement. authors and publishers were able to opt-out (not opt-in) of the activity but the power remains in google’s hands as the monopolising of digital books continues.

back to topic. while google may be proud of accomplishing the count, should they speak of, oh, authority when the rest of the publishing world is scowling at them? not sure. but i’m not sure of the validity of this number either. it actually seems quite small to me.

in any case, if you’re trying to whittle down the number of books you have yet to read, i recommend the help and the betrayal. definitely not your summer beach read, but both are wonderfully written ‘tomes’ that’ll remind you just why it is that you read in the first place.


[photo from we heart it]

Today’s Task: Multitask

Hi! I’m Ros. And I’m the one who likes to start sentences with capital letters. In this blog, telltale signs of who posted what would be the use of the upper and lower cases. I guess we’ve established that much.

I am also the bigger geek. As an online marketing crusader (nope, I won’t be calling myself an “expert”) located in a growing online market in Asia, the Philippines, I’ll be writing a lot about the geeky stuff. That includes all my addictions: the whole social media caboodle of Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and more; gadgets; fruits: Apple and Blackberry; applications, some practical software and even the accessories that go with those gadgets!

And this is why today’s post is about my most amazing discovery of the day (heck, of the week, even!) Google is finally letting users access multiple gmail accounts in not just one browser, but in one tidy little tab! With all my addictions and the hundred other tasks I line up for each day, multitasking is a skill that sometimes, kills me. You know how it is, when you have three browsers open and you have at least 10 tabs open on EACH browser? And you have three email accounts, open, 20 articles you’ve been meaning to read, 10 more you want to share, an RSS feed that keeps on going and suddenly, your friend sends you 10 more amazing links and before you know it, you’re all cross-eyed. Now, you get to eliminate at least two tabs or even an entire browser! Finally, Google listened!

So, here’s how I found out about that “Google finally enables same-browser, multiple account Gmail sign-in” from Engadget. GeekSugar shows you how to start simplifying your life by streamlining your gmail accounts in four easy steps! What you’ll end up with is one tab for gmail with a toggle down list on the upper right side of your screen that let’s you hop from one account to the next in a jiffy.

And that, my dear reader, is my geek tip of the day!

I’ll be back with more posts on travel, food, books, TV shows, movies, and more about my addictions.

And given a choice, sans serif please.


case in point.

if we’re going to do this, dear reader, then you’d probably like to know a little bit about who we are.

i’m emily. and my location is always changing, but for right now, i am in london, uk. i’ll be the one who’ll write mostly about design, books, travel, and art. i’m a writer, editor, student, photographer, product junkie. i’m also working on my dissertation on internationationalisation of creative publishing processes, so expect to hear a bit on my discoveries in that arena too.

there’s a lot to say, but first, a confession: as much as i love the layout for em&ros, i can’t stand the all caps font that’s used throughout the template. the title of our blog used to read ‘Em&Ros’ until i neurotically suggested to ros that we change it because it was driving me mad. i know. i’m kind of, oh, specific when it comes to fonts and typography. i remember having to adopt architectural fonts (aka ALL CAPS) during my interior design course  at the parson’s school of design many summers ago, and while i appreciated the streamlined captions and sentences, i’m just not a fan. i suppose i associate capital letters with volume – WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME? lowercase letters are just more aesthetically interesting, especially the curlicues in a’s and g’s. and yes, serif, please.

so that’s me, for starters. follow me and my abc’s as we embark on this new adventure.


[photo by marcin wichary]

How now, brown cow?

Steve Shaw's "How Now Brown Cow 2" oil on hardboard 2003

ros: let’s blog

em: uh, hello

r: i know, i know

ok…let’s post!

do we need a grand plan or we just do

em & ros

just do.


e: um, hello


r: nooneenoooooo

e: so what’s the plan

r: parameters?


personal? detached? 1st person…3rd person

e: our own voice obv



first person

r: ok


e: with a signature signoff

HOW random?

or we cover only specific stuff

travel food design books?

e: oh yeah that’s good

i’d be happy to talk current events or somethign we come across online

but i think we need direction or something

otherwise we’ll get too random

r: exactly

and we’ll just blab

e: or talk to each other

Continue reading

dear semi-colon…

we have issues.

we’re good and getting excited about doing something but it’s information (and idea) over-load that gets us a little too excited and we forget to actually do what we’ve set out to do.

what do they call it, analysis paralysis? we’re chronics.

so we might as well blog about our indecision. at least that’ll get us writing…

about what?…


so pardon us as we go through the trials and tribulations of deciding on what to do around here. it was a random tweet i came across (hence the title of this post) that kicked us into gear. finally. we’re trying, really. but time differences, writer’s block, and a genuine over-enthusiasm for everything we discover on a daily basis prevents us from just sitting down and writing about it.

we’ll get on it – promise.



the log for this post tells me i’d last edited it on october 6, 2010. last year. and i’d had a genius idea of how to link what i wanted to talk about (a pair of shoes) with the big move i was making (back to shanghai).

see, i was packing. and while ros & i pride ourselves as champion packers (kinda), i was panicking. for one, i didn’t want to leave london. and secondly, i didn’t know what to do with the stuff that i’d accumulated in the one year i’d spent there. it wasn’t a lot of stuff, but they all meant something. i’d read an article in the new york times that really resonated with me – ‘home is where your stuff is’ is an account of a family going away and coming home to…things. things that mean travels and memories and adventures, but they were just things.

and of course that made me want to blog about shoes.

no, not those brogues I’d been eyeing, and no, not the amazing shoe gallery at selfridges. during the horrendous packing process (i am such a sentimental packer), my little flat in north london was divided into quadrants with piles: to bring, to donate, to sell, to throw out. one particular pair of shoes shifted from one corner to another several times. seeing what state they were in, the answer was obvious – throw them out already! but i couldn’t. well, i didn’t want to.

they’re not spectacular in design. they’re longchamp cotton slip-ons and I got on sale in hong kong for hk$200, which is a steal compared to what they’ve given me. we’ve been on adventures and back – two major cross-continent moves, a weekend jaunt to the amazing koyasan mountains in osaka, shopping at my beloved granville island in vancouver, schlepping all over shanghai on interviews, exploring london, sinking in the saqqara desert sand in cairo. and more. so i couldn’t bear to part with them, given the stories they held and told.

but if there’s anything adventures will teach you, it’s that there are many more on the horizon.

i suppose that’s just a way of making myself feel less nostalgic about the past travels and changes, to remind myself that that won’t stop with the parting of the shoes. they ended up in the garbage at the very last second, right before i had to catch the cab to heathrow.

…the stuff is a comfort, but not a priority. it’s tempting to draw the conclusion that while artifacts are important, the living cannot be replaced. except the living keep generating these illuminating sparks —                                               souvenirs that remind you of life.’

it’s these artifacts and objects that keep me going; inspiration that there is plenty more of life to live, things to learn, and places to see. and my itchy little traveler’s feet will find the perfect next pair of shoes to keep me going.

or maybe they’ll just take me home.