Her GadgetMatch

Planning a wedding in the Philippines? Take your gift registry online with Knots and Pans

An ecommerce site perfect for time -and cost-conscious newlyweds-to-be

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Two weeks ago, I got married. On January 13, I married my boyfriend of seven years at a garden ceremony and reception in Tagaytay. After being engaged for more than a year and a half, the event itself just flew by, and it was surreal seeing all of the work we put into preparations pay off within a single day.

To cut costs and indulge our pickiness, we decided to book suppliers ourselves and hire an on-the-day coordinator to take over the actual date. Much like handling a long-term work project, finding the right suppliers to trust with our vision was enjoyable, but also exhausting. As the date inched closer, one thing we started handling relatively late was prompted by friends and family asking if we had a wedding registry. Oops.

Enter Knots and Pans: an online wedding registry website, the first and only (so far) of its kind in the Philippines. We discovered it when a friend used it for her own wedding, and we were impressed by the convenience of not having to trek to a physical store for purchases. We waffled about on whether to try it for ourselves until ber-months rolled around, and we realized we didn’t have anywhere to direct guests to whenever they asked about gifts. Not having enough time in our schedule to open a registry somewhere else, we dove in.

Creating an online gift registry on Knots and Pans is simple and straightforward. It’s totally free, and registering is like creating an account on any other ecommerce site. From the get-go, you select the occasion you’re building the registry for — wedding, birthday, bridal shower, baby shower, housewarming, or fundraising — and can use either your Facebook account or email address for logging in. Next, you select your personal aesthetic for product suggestions from a few choices and can then customize your registry page by creating a custom URL and adding a banner image.

Of course, the most fun comes from building the registry itself, which feels just like messing around on Pinterest. Most items come from local brands, and are usually unique. There’s a search function if you’re looking for specific needs (bed sheets or appliances, for example), and guests can find your registry simply by searching your names.

We could always go back to the website and add new things, and even add spaces for monetary gifts with different labels (like travel, home fund, etc.) to be deposited directly into an account. You also have a gift tracker to see which items were already purchased and by whom. Getting an email notification that somebody bought something was always exciting, but I turned that option off because, well, spoilers!

One comment though is that the search function is extremely bare-bones and could do with a few more filters, which reflects how items are organized in the main product catalog, as well. It can be difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for as categories are too general — although, it isn’t a big problem now due to the limited types of items available.

But there’s a caveat: despite there being a large number of items to choose from, I did feel limited in the look of things we saw (as everything is pre-curated). I’m sure some couples wouldn’t be fans of this site if their personal aesthetic may not match the products.

Despite that, it worked out fine. While we did still receive physical gifts, most came from Knots and Pans. That little blessing manifested itself on the day, when some unlucky circumstances meant we ended up with less car space going home than anticipated. It definitely took a load off us; we didn’t need to spend too much time stressing out on how to Tetris a bunch of gift boxes (and leftover food, leftover wedding cake, wedding gown and suit, and more) for the way back to Manila.

Now we’re here, two weeks after the wedding, and we’ve already received and found places for the first set of gifts our guests purchased from the site. Some friends bought gifts closer to the date, and Knots and Pans’ customer service team was very responsive on Viber, letting us choose whether we wanted to wait a little longer to receive everything in one go or have them delivered in two batches. Delivery straight to our home was free, and all boxes came neatly packaged with custom wrapping paper. A nice surprise was that they took the time to attach printed cards with messages guests could customize while they were buying on the site!

Overall, we had a great experience with this supplier and would recommend it to any engaged couple aiming to save time and money. While ecommerce has become ubiquitous in everyday life, it would be interesting to see what other needs and niches future players in the industry can address, just like this one did for us!

Entertainment

Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special is 2020’s salvation

Mariah Carey, pray for us

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Christmas Icon Mariah Carey, together with Apple TV+, released the official trailer for Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special.

The holiday extravaganza will feature Carey and a fabulous line-up of superstars: Tiffany Haddish, Billy Eichner, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri, Misty Copeland, and Mykal-Michelle Harris. Carey’s nine-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe will also have a special appearance in the show.

The Special tackles a holiday cheer crisis where only one person can solve: Santa’s great friend, Mariah Carey. Through musical performances, dynamic dancing, and groundbreaking animation, the Queen of Christmas is about to bring a holiday spectacular that will make the whole world merry.

Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special will premiere globally on December 4, exclusively at Apple TV+. The soundtrack single and new music video for “Oh Santa!” will also be distributed by Sony Music and released on Apple Music and other streaming platforms on the same day. Other soundtracks will be available exclusively on Apple Music by December 4, and on other platforms by December 11.

Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions. It’s also available on over 1 billion screens, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku devices, as well as at tv.apple.com/sg, for S$6.98 per month with a seven-day free trial.

For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, or iPod touch can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. This special offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device.

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Accessories

Huawei Classic Backpack: The girl with the green backpack

A fashion statement and everyday accessory

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Huawei Classic Backpack

When you’re juggling a job and a side hustle, style ends up as one of the last things you consider in your everyday life.

Admittedly, I wear hideous, bulky handbags to carry my essentials: makeup, hygiene kit, power bank, cables and organizers, and other accessories. Sometimes, I slip a book unless I’m carrying a laptop for business meetings, which proved to be harmful to my posture.

The extra weight shouldered when using a handbag had me reeling in unnecessary body pain. When I was looking for an alternative, a confidante offered the Huawei Classic Backpack — a stylish, everyday bag.

Green is the new black

Huawei’s Classic Backpack comes in lavish Forest Green. It’s quite a recherché, looking luxurious especially in its satin-like nylon fabric. In certain lighting conditions, the color shifts from emerald to dark teal. Frankly, the bluish tint is frequently evident, making this backpack challenging to pair with your outfits.

If you’re unsure how to wear this backpack in such a rare colorway, you can always pull-off an all-black outfit. Or you can go green all the way and do a bit of tonal dressing.

Huawei Classic Backpack

Green, when done right, can be chic and contemporary — all eyes will be on you, darling. It’s never as bold as red, but it’s exotic to look at in a sea of neutrals.

Taste of Paris

Huawei’s Classic Backpack emanates a Parisian vibe — chic, exquisite, serious, respectable, and admirable. If I can think of two words to describe Paris, it’s fashion and architecture.

The same values I mentioned honor the minimalist approach, as seen in the backpack. A semblance of Parisian architects’ craftsmanship; a straightforward utility bag without forsaking style.

There’s a microfiber leather flap priding itself with the label ‘Designed in Paris’ together with Huawei’s logo debossed in gold. This complements the satin-like green body, presenting a luxe appeal.

For security, the backpack features an adjustable drawstring design with a magnetic clasp underneath the flap that connects with the fabric.

Huawei Classic Backpack

Just like the Parisian architecture, the overall design exhibits durability and comfortability — using a 290T nylon fabric for the body and wide straps that reduces pressure on your shoulders. This helped to carry my laptop and other essentials easily even when I take long walks.

Inside, it uses a 200T polyester fabric lined with an H-pattern à la prominent designer bags like Gucci and Chanel. The backpack also comes with a luggage strap, making it the perfect travel carry-on. If we get to travel again, that is.

Carry what you need

If anything this backpack has taught me, it’s learning how to carry only what’s necessary. I used to wear handbags, most are large enough to fit my hairdryer or straighteners. Who knows when I would need it, right?

Sure, it has a separate compartment that can carry laptops 14-inches and under, and an abundance of zipped storage areas. But that doesn’t mean you’ll stuff your bag so much, you’ll hurt your back.

At the very least, there’s plenty of room for whatever you need to store: accessories, cards, keys, and miscellaneous stuff you think you need.

The girl with the green backpack

The Huawei Classic Backpack is the fashion statement you didn’t know you needed. Wearing it can state your persona in a glance, and create a lasting impression just like The Girl in the Green Scarf.

More importantly, it’s the perfect everyday utility bag that you can wear with certain outfits (definitely not yellow, please don’t). It also teaches you to bring only what’s essential.

This backpack, certainly, is an icon of balance between functionality, comfortability, and style. Don’t let anyone tell you to sacrifice one in order to have the perfect bag match.


This lifestyle feature was written by Nicole Beltran. She owns a pastry brand named The Cookie Nook. Her free time is mostly spent baking, taking her Shih Tzu for a walk, or trying to catch up with Netflix originals released a year ago.

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Her GadgetMatch

Mercury in retrograde: When technology and communications go haywire

Your survival guide to a crazy season

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Buckle up, everyone! Mercury is in retrograde once again. In Astrology, this means the planet that governs technology, communications, and our very own thought processes spins backward. In our reality, it means doomsday is coming.

When Mercury is in retrograde, flights and travels are usually delayed, people from the past pop back in our lives, communication systems break down, and our gadgets get into accidents or start malfunctioning.

More importantly, this season makes everything fluid. Nothing will be set in stone. Decisions are usually changed when the season ends, so it’s not a good time to sign contracts, schedule surgeries, have makeovers, launch a new project, or shop for electronic devices.

But fret not, this season shall pass. Here’s what you should do before, during, and after the Mercury retrograde.

Protect your gadgets and gizmos with trusty cases and accessories

Honey, this season makes us feel frustrated, agitated, and annoyed. Often, we’ll be rushing and getting into accidents. You might drop your phone on the toilet, break them, or forget them on a cab or restaurant. You gotta get yourself some strap to keep your phone with you at all times and dress them up with hard, shock-proof cases. Should they fall from your hands, you know they’re safe.

Back up your data, make sure it’s safe and secure

Okay, Jenny, listen up. Mercury in retrograde is the season where we lose important stuff moments before we actually need them. It can be your keys, card, or presentation for your next meeting. The point here is you should back up all necessary data. Flash drives might break, Google Drive and other forms of storage may not work properly at the time you need them. The next thing you know, your life is in shambles.

Another thing to worry about is security and privacy. This season is also the time when people’s secrets tend to get exposed, such as your affair with your best friend’s boyfriend or your intimate videos getting leaked in the deepest, darkest corner of the internet. Keep your reputations from being smeared!

Double check what you type and say

Be careful with miscommunication, my dear. It’s normal to feel there’s chaos in your head since Mercury in retrograde disrupts our thought processes. We become forgetful and more prone to mistakes, so double check your typos before hitting send. In addition, think twice before voicing out your opinions and emotions. Take a deep breath, and think before you click. Your words are powerful. Once you’ve hurt someone with it, you can be forgiven but they’ll never forget.

P.S. Be mindful of what you post or tweet if you don’t want to get dragged on social media.

 

Keep your emotions in check and block your exes

If you haven’t blocked your exes until today, you need to re-evaluate your life, Susan. During this season, we barely use our logic and just follow our emotions. There might come a time where you want to send a seven-paragraph message to your ex, please don’t. You owe it to yourself to move on from the past and stop them from coming back to your life.

Oh, one more thing: Stay open to possible opportunities. Sure, Mercury in retrograde brings our past lovers back from hell, but they also bring in colleagues we’ve worked with. Most of the time, they want to work with us again. Additionally, this is a good time to reconnect with old friends. Seriously, this period isn’t that bad.

Be extremely flexible (not just in yoga but also in life)

If there’s one thing you can learn from this, it’s that life doesn’t always work out in our favor. It’s a reminder to always find a way. Be flexible and adaptable to every surprise that life brings. If we’re going to give in to our emotions, we already lost. Take a step back and reassess what’s happening, compose yourself and think of a solution. This is just another storm that’s passing by. You will overcome this.

Take a moment to slow down

Lastly, like any retrograde season, it’s a cue from the planets and the stars to slow down. We’re all rushing from one point to another, and we’re moving extremely fast. Planets spin backward to remind us that we need to look back and slow down to appreciate how far we’ve come, what we’ve been doing with our lives, and catch up on what we missed. Above all, it’s a reminder to rest. You’re doing well, my friend. I’m proud of you.

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