This is our family dog, Bailey. You might’ve already seen her in my social networking sites where I usually gush about how cute she is and how my family was quick to love her in that short time since she’s been with us. She is my quick fix to any kind of negativity, and seeing her everyday never fails to put a smile on my face!
A few posts back, I was talking about how I think I’m doing a good job given some milestones that I’ve achieved. Bailey’s got it on a whole different level, though.
She gets her first official endorsement / blog advert, and she’s just 3 months old. She’s still trying to properly learn social skills, tricks and polished potty training, and she gets to have a hair endorsement already? Seriously? I’ve been all about my hair ever since I started blogging, and I’ve never had proper shampoo sponsor, lol. This makes me even proud that our new baby is hopefully gonna be a star in her own right!
I wanted to take photos of her when she was still significantly smaller (and chubbier) but I couldn’t do it properly because she wasn’t fully trained yet, and like an infant ninja puppy (ninja gene probably taken from my older brothers), was just too fast for the camera. A month has passed since we got her, and she totally gets some basic commands down pat already.
She has also grown A LOT. It’s crazy. I often joke about how she was born to be a model, as her legs were the first parts that grew longer. It easily stuck and now my family refers to her as the dog who was born to be a model.
And the dog with long legs but with a fat belly that we super love to rub! <3
My mom took her out for a bath last Friday afternoon, and I decided to take pictures while they were at it! I managed to save my camera from being splashed by shampoo water. Phew.
Took this as an ideal opportunity to document Bailey properly since I’ve only used iPhone 4S camera for the past month! :D
We use Our Dog shampoos for Bailey, and they come in these adorable colors and scents. I put the cutest dog in the middle, lol. That white ball of fluff! <3 Which breed is your fave?
All Our Dog products are imported from Australia, and are now the leading and most affordable imported dog shampoo/conditioner in the market. The special Australian Tea Tree Oil component is effective against bacteria, fungi and viruses, so it’s definitely a must for all those like us that keep dogs inside the house.
We still haven’t figured out what to do when Bailey grows up into her adult model self (lol) but for now she has a little home inside the house where she can greet all those who pass through the front door! I wonder if there are any Lab owners out there who can give us any advice on what to do when she can’t fit inside the house anymore!
Our Dog is also amazingly soap-free so the products do not remove the oil/moisture from Bailey’s skin. That natural moisture protects her from irritation and other skin related diseases, so it’s always better to use shampoo made especially for dogs instead of generic human shampoo or soap.
That blue tub of extra moisture conditioner is one of my faves because it makes Bailey’s hair so irresistibly smooth… *steals line from random shampoo commercial*
Bath time! Labradors being labradors, Bailey ALWAYS has fun when it comes to anything related to water. If she only had a choice, she’d stay in that bath tub for good. She hasn’t seen a pool in her life yet, and I’m pretty sure that she’ll dive right in when she sees one.
Sometimes she would deliberately spill some of her drinking water just so she can get it on herself. I guess she agrees with all of us that it is just too hot in Manila! By the time this gets posted, I’m probably enjoying sweater weather in Osaka. Woot!
This time, we used the blue Shower Fresh shampoo variant, though I really prefer the Lavender scent better. Next week again!
Towel snuggle. How can you not love this giant baby?
Biting her hairbrush, probably thinking she doesn’t need it. Because she was born a model. (OK, somebody please stop me!)
Literally. Those puppy dog eyes. Can’t say no to them!
We’re all so happy with our newest addition to the family. It’s good that there’s an extroverted energy in our house now as most of us are introverts and like to stick to indoor activities. Like, playing the latest apps on iPhone (Ahh, Alien Hive is *the* one app that’s ruining my productivity right now)… if that counts.
I’ll keep you guys posted with all sorts of cute Bailey stories in the next few weeks, months and years. <3
Our Dog products are available in Pet Express, Dogs In The City, Animal House, Doggie Land (San Juan, Mandaluyong, Tiendesitas, Cartimar), Pet Zone, ACE Hardware, SM Supermarkets, SM Hypermart, Savemore, Handyman, True Value, Unimart, Mercury Drug, S&R, Super Shopping Supermarket, Cherry Foodarama, Makati Supermarket, Cash & Carry, South Supermarket, Puregold Duty Free (Subic and Clark), Alturas Supermarket (Tagbilaran, Bohol) and Pricewise Supermarket (Zamboanga).
Visit their website here.
P.S. My mom made Bailey an Instagram account recently, lol. Add her up: @mybebebailey
Posting because it’s scorching hot this summer and everyone’s been going to the beach almost every weekend. I’m going to cheat - these were taken way back December 2012, lol. My friends and I decided to get together and go swimming before Christmas… which, when I think about now, was quite an uncommon decision. Swimming in December? How many people do that, really? :D And just in a pool too!
My friends and I regularly meet up after work hours (past 6 or 7 pm) until about midnight, but rarely have we organized anything while the sun is still out. I blame it on the ratio of morning people and night owls in the group (i.e. sometimes I would text Tracy at 3 in the morning and she’d be just as wide awake as I am!).
We haven’t really done much else except have dinner and spend hours together over coffee, ever since we graduated from college and started working. So we committed to waking up early and doing something different for a change of scenery and routine!
Rg being his normal strange self and Kim being a cutie. Like all those who go to Sta. Rosa/West Grove/Nuvali, we stopped by Starbucks for breakfast! I didn’t bother doing my make-up so I’m hiding behind my sunnies! 8D
Old souls. Or not. I thought my friends got a copy of the newspaper for the news. Until I caught them reading the day’s horoscope, hahaha
Interestingly, 3 (including me and my boyfriend) out of 9 in our group are all Sagittarius. All my siblings are Sagittarius as well. *shoots arrows*
Krissy and Drew. He’s doing the Despicable Me minions face.
Tep and Addie on their way to Yellow Cab to order pizza for lunch!
I went around Solenad 2 to take pictures. The heat was intense so I gave up after about… 2 minutes.
Everyone’s iDevices! Spot mine!
Finished ordered pizza. Off to the pool!
Ayala West Grove. We were so lucky we were the only ones there that day! We had this giant pool all to ourselves for the whole day.
Clearly trying our very best not to take cliche group shots.
Also, camwhoring time! Found a nice spot to take pictures and I couldn’t let the opportunity pass!
Tracy joined in!
And then suddenly, everyone! (My legs = so landi)
After lunch and camwhoring, we decided to exchange gifts for Christmas. Kim decided to give us these pretty Forever 21 palettes! Guess which one I got!
Teptep was so happy with the gifts I gave her! Yay!
Finally got to wear my own design for i love koi swimwear. You can wear it with the straps or without. I prefer with the straps because I don’t have enough boobage to hold the swimsuit up… T_T
Back angle because all the yummy pizza went to my abdomen area. Why can’t fat be distributed haha I wish they’d go to my butt or thighs at least!
This one is called “Slumberdoll” and obviously I made it for myself and those with similar taste and body type! Gives you a more curvy silhouette without having to show too much skin. The vertical stripes slims and elongates the torso (since I have a short torso). This particular nautical theme is now out of stock but it comes in other colors such as black x gold (which I also own and even used as a top/bodysuit), pink with white polkadots, blue with big white polkadots (one of my faves), green with small white polkadots, rusty old rose x jewel tone purple, gunmetal gray x pale purple, and teal x gold. Click here to order. :)
I’m far from having a flat stomach (thanks to my lazy ass that seems to be allergic to any kind of exercise of physical activity - I quit even before I start) so I prefer wearing high-waist bikinis and one pieces to hide all the food I eat, hohoho. Will have to find another occasion to wear my other design, “Lolita”!
After swimming it suddenly became dark! But Kim makes everything brighter as usual.
Tracy’s and Krissy’s Baby-Gs! Time Depot will be proud heehee
I played with the eyeshadow palettes and decided to do light make-up on my friends! :D
It drizzled right when we were about to leave, so we were stuck by the pool for a while. Until this double rainbow appeared after the rain! I took it as a sign of good luck for all of us this 2013. <3
After the surprisingly quick drive back to Manila, we had ramen! Everyone didn’t seem to want the day to end. Cheers to 7 or so years of friendship! <3
Happy Easter everyone!
As you all know, I went to Fukuoka again last December with my family. This time, we skipped the touring part, shopped til our hearts couldn’t take it anymore, and stuffed ourselves with the best ramen in the world. Well, not exactly. Being history geeks and travelers at heart, we dedicated one day of our trip to Hiroshima and Miyajima. We’ve already been to Nagasaki, so naturally Hiroshima was a clear choice for our next destination.
It only takes about an hour to go to Hiroshima from Hakata Station via Shinkansen, which surprised me a bit since it took us longer to go to Nagasaki despite it being geographically nearer Fukuoka. Apparently the train from Fukuoka to Hiroshima is so much faster than the one we took before.
Where I spent an hour sleeping like a baby. It was exceptionally wet and cold the day we decided to go out of Fukuoka. Just our luck! I’m starting to think I have the worst luck when it comes to traveling because the weather was just as bad in London and Paris when I was there. The weather was perfect the day before and the day after, but we couldn’t schedule this later because of the year-end holidays. Most places would be closed, and of course Shinkansen tickets would be impossible to get because a lot of people would be going home to their respective homes (if outside Fukuoka, or even Kyushu) in time for New Year’s.
Passed by these factories while on the train.
Finally arrived at Hiroshima and headed straight to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, or the Atomic Bomb Dome or Genbaku Dome.
This building is what remains of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, and at present, is one of Japan’s most important landmarks. Since the bomb came from almost directly above the building, it wasn’t completely destroyed. Now it serves as a reminder of the nation’s hope to rid the world of war and nuclear weapons.
The 1983 replica of the T-shaped Aioi bridge, the aiming point for the bomb. The shape was easily recognized from the air, so it was an easy target. The fact that they had the clearest weather the day of the bombing pretty much sealed the city’s fate.
After the years of struggle after the atomic bomb, Hiroshima has successfully rebuilt itself. It looks so peaceful, you wouldn’t even expect that something so intense hit them at one point in history.
Sadako (not of Ringu fame) on top of the Children’s Peace Monument. I already mentioned her being *the* post-atomic bomb Japanese icon of hope in my Nagasaki post last year, but she is actually originally from Hiroshima.
She was two years old when the bomb hit. She was only able to live until age 12 because she heavily suffered from the after effects of the atomic bomb. It wasn’t all that bad though. She persevered and kept a positive outlook until her death. So inspiring!
Also one of the symbols of Hiroshima advocating world peace. Every 6th of August, they hold a ceremony here to memorialize the victims of the bombing.
An old watch that was found after the atomic bomb. The Peace Memorial Museum was packed with tourists from all over the world, wanting to know the whole story behind this very dark part of history. I won’t spoil it for those who have plans to visit this place in the future. The experience is quite inexplicable, especially the part where they interview the survivors about the tragedy that they witnessed with their own eyes. Not only were their homes destroyed, but most of their loved ones were also killed by the bomb and its radioactive effects.
A model showing how the area around the T-shaped bridge looked like before the bomb.
A model showing how Hiroshima looked like after the bomb. Everything was completely wiped out save for some structures that were near the epicenter.
In the museum, there were very graphic pictures and videos relaying Hiroshima’s story to those who went there to hear it.
A shadow of a person was imprinted on these steps as the bomb fell on the city.
Some survivors lived up to see the city rebuilt, but suffered from the most grueling sicknesses brought by a lot of factors, this black rain included. I couldn’t take pictures of the pictures of the victims because they were too graphic. :(
Depressing stuff aside, the Japanese are really something. Sadako was a wonderful example of how they continued on living despite what happened to them. As the atomic bomb hit Hiroshima, one school boy encountered a rescuer and asked him to give his notebook to his family as he already knew he was dying. Some of the personal effects of those who died are still displayed in the museum. Not primarily for the tourists, but for the owners’ descendants to be able to claim them one day.
The rain made the visit to the museum and the park so much more saddening. T_T
To lift our spirits up, our tour guide Hiro (also the same tour guide from last time ‘cause we absolutely love her) brought us to a special restaurant.
The walk was long and difficult because it was raining like no tomorrow, but it was all worth it.
BECAUSE IT WAS OKONOMIYAKI TIME! All caps because I love okonomiyaki.
My friends would laugh at me and say that I love all Japanese food anyway, lol. I can’t help it if everything is just so good, and I surprisingly feel like I lose weight in Japan even if I eat a lot. This sorcery, I don’t even
Concert stickers as restaurant decoration. Not a fan of KAT-TUN’s music as much as Arashi’s, but hey, still Johnny’s! \o/
Just a few days after this one, Kanjani8 performed in Kouhaku for the first time. Congrats Eito!
My brother Chase. And a ton of wall scribbles. People from all over the world have written messages here, so it was fun to make out what they all probably meant. There were some familiar band names written too, but I’m not so sure if they were legit written by the artists themselves or just by fans haha hopefully the former
Kinoshita Yukina, Gekidan Hitori, Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Tamori-san! No English subtitles, I promise! I’m afraid I love Japan too much that I recognized them instantly lolol much thanks to Arashi no Shukudai-kun and Music Station from years ago :D
Best okonomiyaki ever! <3 We ordered two different kinds - one that used soba noodles and one that used udon noodles.
Walked around the city again after lunch so we can burn all the yumminess that we ate and get to our next destination!
The ferry station from Hiroshima to Miyajima.
Was greeted by this deer as soon as I landed in Miyajima! OMG, MEMORIES OF NARA! Ugh, bring me back to 2009 when I went on a Tokyo-Kyoto-Nara-Osaka tour. Back then I didn’t shoot in RAW because I didn’t have enough memory space so now I need to take more pictures hahaha EXCUSES T_T
Miyajima means “Shrine Island” so it’s the more popular term, but it’s originally called Itsukushima. By this time the rain had gotten so much worse so I don’t have any pictures of my outfit that day for Lookbook. I am not going to sacrifice my camera for some outfit pictures, haha
Something that never changes every time I go to Japan: transparent umbrellas.
I could totally imagine how much prettier this place would be in autumn with all the fall foliage! Or spring with all the sakura!
The famous Miyajima floating torii, which is one of Japan’s three best sceneries. One down, two to go. I’m not totally sad that I didn’t catch it on high tide, when the water makes it look like it’s floating, because it only gives me more reason to come back here one day.
Foggy mountains and the Itsukushima shrine from afar.
The Itsukushima Shrine is built on stilts because it’s built so close to ocean that it can get covered by the water at high tide if it weren’t.
The floating torii view from the shrine.
Father and son.
One of the streets near the exit of the shrine. Looks straight out of a movie. Looove!
Japan’s “it” girl! Takei Emi endorsing Maquillage. She is so pretty I doubt she even needs to use all that make-up lol
Dropped by Oyster ‘Kakiya’ 牡蠣屋 which is supposedly one of the best oyster bars in the island. TEARS! Because these were sooo good it puts all the oysters that I’ve eaten in the past to shame.
Oyster overload at a random stall. Don’t forget to try out the oysters in Hiroshima!
Late afternoon-almost evening in the shopping street in Miyajima. So pretty even if it was freezing! I didn’t buy anything (was saving my money for some shopping at Tenjin Core) but I enjoyed just looking around for nifty souvenirs and street food.
HELLO KITTY DESSERTS! SO ADORBS
Aww, time to go back to Fukuoka. I would say that one day in Hiroshima and Miyajima is enough, but I wish I could’ve stayed an extra day to explore more places. I checked out their Facebook page, and OMG GOOD JOB PROMOTING HIROSHIMA! I would totally go back based on the pictures and write-ups they regularly post there. Or maybe I’m just biased. <3 If it were only possible, I’d fly to Japan once every quarter.
Fukuoka post and My Own Fashion Week (MOFW) featuring Japanese brands coming up next! Posting the second travel entry after all the look posts!
AHH! It’s here! For once I am blogging on time! It’s still early on in September so everyone still has a few weeks to rush to the nearest bookstore and grab their own copies of Preview’s big fashion issue with me, Laureen and Camille on the cover!
This shoot came quite unexpectedly, especially since I never imagined the day would come when bloggers could actually stand a chance to appear in fashion magazine covers. Every month, I would always look forward to see which showbiz personality, artist or top model would appear on the covers of local magazines, but never in my life did I ever think that my dream of appearing in one would actually come true.
OKAY, IT’S TL;DR STARTING FROM HERE. I really want to go back to this post 10-20 years from now!
It is rather overwhelming to see everything come full circle. Back in 2006 (fresh out of high school), I appeared in a prom insert for Candy magazine, which is under Summit Media also. It was my first time to ever appear in a magazine, even if I still had all sorts of baby fat then (LOL). Later that year, I went on to pursue my dreams of becoming a photographer, while still doing modeling for small situational shoots here and there.
The first time I had my photos published as a photographer, I cried tears of joy. Even if I were only tasked to shoot small photos of some guys (not even fashion-related!) I didn’t know, there was this incomparable feeling of being able to finally put your work out there, when all you’ve been was a complete nobody. It was never about the recognition, but it was all about that fulfillment knowing that all your hard work paid off. I got quite a number of photography jobs after that.
I always joke about me being the original hipster because I was blogging and doing photography way before it ever became popular, but SERIOUSLY, I have “being there in right place at the right time” to be thankful for. My personal style and photography, I think, can be quite overrated, but I’m still so happy I get to do all the things I love for work.
In 2008, I was included in Preview’s annual list of Top Creative Filipinos, back when I was still shooting a lot of cosplay with Alodia, who I thank for giving me a chance to practice my creativity.
Come 2009, I was able to shoot for Preview’s 150th Anniversary Artbook, where I was given 100% freedom to do what I want with the concept, from the selection of models to the styling and execution of poses. This gave birth to one of my most favorite shoots of all time. The photos turned out to be well-received on my deviantART, with my own rendition of Alice garnering 10,000+ favorites. Other photos from this set included Cinderella, Snow White and the Evil Queen, and Little Mermaid.
I also met Camille around this time! She had just graduated from Ateneo (and I was still a university senior set on becoming a professional photographer) and had only started working on her clothing line, Coexist. We did quite a number of fun shoots for her brand’s catalogue and website, and for my portfolio. It was really a totally different time when we had somewhat different roles compared to now. Here were some of the photos from that time: Iana, Camille (with black hair!), Val, Feanne. Looking at these pictures now are making me so nostalgic! I can’t believe it’s already been 3 years since I started helping out online stores with their photos. Some of these online stores have become really big now (Coexist included!), and they make me feel like a proud momma now that they’ve come a long way.
Later that year, I was tapped by one of my photography idols, Paolo Pineda, to assist him in shooting for a fashion editorial for another magazine. On the day itself, he decided that I be the main photographer for the shoot and he be the assistant. Talk about pressure! The results (i.e. Work in Progress, The Red Masque, and Plans) ended up becoming some of my personal favorites from my photography portfolio too.
There have been some really awesome people like Paolo who have given me some of the biggest breaks, career-wise. The list is rather long, but two of the most important industry people I want to acknowledge are Erwin Romulo (who is the EIC of Esquire now) and Jay Tablante. Both of them believed in that little kid on deviantART years ago.
I always thought that 2010 was my year. 2 weeks before graduating from Ateneo, I was already booked by an ad agency and a brand to shoot for their online campaign. So many blessings followed after that, including all sorts of random awards that I didn’t expect.
2011 started off reaaally rough, however. At the height of what I thought was the best time of my life, I was dragged down by controversy and negativity. I cried buckets for weeks, especially since after I already apologized for what I said, so many people were still talking behind my back and breaking off their so-called friendships with me. I *did* have thoughts of forever quitting blogging and social networking… which I regret even considering!
Time passed and healed everything, of course. I realized that I can never ever quit, because I’m so passionate about it. To quit would only mean more sadness, yes? Imagine a life without Instagram and Lookbook, LOL. But seriously, I wanted to still try to pursue it, at least. There’s nothing worse than just quitting without trying. To put myself back on track, I had to humble myself again, with the help of family, friends, self-help books (Seohyun, be proud!) and prayers.
Let me share to you some wise words from my mom! — “We just need to keep building our faith/sprituality, our wits, our wisdom, our humility and our charity so we remain grounded. And on the ground, we will shine in our own God-given light. That way, we remember who we are and the people who matter most, and where all this is coming from.” *tears*
2012 got nothing on all the previous years though! You just learn to forgive everyone through time and move on. Other people move on too, and this magazine cover was one of those things that made me feel the truth behind this statement. Can’t thank Preview enough for this “first”!
I am so glad I didn’t quit. I will die before I ever quit for the wrong reasons! Thank you to everyone who: 1) gave me a second chance 2) never left and 3) left me and put all their time and effort to still bring up the past
I already have my mind set on this - The past, regardless of mistakes here and there, will never make me weak. It is/will be a constant (as it can never be erased) wake-up call for me to forgive myself and others, learn and let go, and focus on improving my present self. *happy dance* Now that I think about it, what I thought was bad news before, actually ended up becoming good in the long run!
OKAY. SO THAT WAS LONG tl;dr, so here are pictures to make this post more tolerable!
Thanks to Miss Shiela of Beauty and Butter for our nails!
Before having our make-up done. Omar of Shu Uemura did mine! It was a little weird and cool at the same time to have him do my make-up since I was always in photographer mode when I’m with him. He did the make-up for this shoot I did for Wedding Essentials before.
I uploaded these on my personal Facebook recently, and my friend Ryan commented on this picture with “Sino ba yung cover? Si Omar o ikaw?” WORK IT
Hair by Mark Familara and Buern Rodriguez. We all had extreme sideparts and hairsprayed-like-there’s-no-tomorrow hair!
Camille’s turn! The back part reminds me of cinnamon rolls! NOM
Stylist Liz Uy and art director Vince Uy, who are also Laureen’s siblings! They are such a talented family, and I’ve always admired them from afar. They put so much work into Preview.
Laureen and Daryl! There are three articles on blogging in the September issue, and Daryl was the one who wrote the last one.
This is what we had for lunch. Walang diet diet! Right, Camille?
After lunch Laureen and Camille decided to take their outfit photos! This was shot some time ago but they only published the pictures on their Lookbooks recently because people might connect the same hairstyles and locations with this cover shoot!
Laureen and her bright outfit! When asked about her personal style, I always say that it’s the stunner kind that you can already recognize from a mile away. This being said, Laureen is the only one I know who can pull this look off so effortlessly! Print on print on print on print!
Camille was also wearing print-on-print that day! I have the same top in a different color and I almost wore it to the shoot. We would’ve looked like twins, especially with our similar hairstyles and make-up!
Managed to take a group picture just before we headed inside Pioneer Studios to change for the first layout.
Cary Santiago origami-inspired dresses against a nice European tarp backdrop. Here, Vince was telling us how to pose. The three of us were so nervous that we briefly forgot that we actually know how to pose a little for our blog entries!
Solo layout. I am so happy I got to wear this dress for the cover. I fell in love with it as soon as I laid my eyes on it, but we weren’t really too sure who gets which dress. I love how it’s both conservative and sexy. Does wonders for my lack of hips!
Pointers from Vince.
Paolo taking my picture! We originally know each other as photographers so it’s always so interesting when I go to a shoot and I have a different role! I’ve always followed his photography in Candy magazine as early as 7th grade. To be able to rub shoulders with him used to just be a dream.
It’s been a long time since our collab for that hard hat shoot! During this cover shoot, I approached him and the first thing he said to me was, “Are you still shooting? When will you focus on your photography again?” Spoken like a true mentor. I promise to be a good girl and practice my photography! *guilty*
SO MANY PRETTY SHOES.
Always so modelesque. This dress also looked like it was made just for her.
The hair of a hairstylist!
iPhone revolution. Guess which one is mine?
We called it “the peacock”.
Me and Laureen playing while Camille is the referee. NOT! I honestly can’t remember what we were talking about when this picture was taken!
From Paolo’s camera. I want that 1.2 lens, darn it. One day, Tricia.
Laureen, the life of the party!
An extra layout that was shot. It was my turn to wear the bird dress! We all had our chances to wear at least 2 different Cary Santiago dresses for the shoot, so the editors can have different options.
That’s a wrap! Photography by Paolo Pineda, Styling by Liz Uy and Daryl Chang, Makeup by Omar Ermita for Shu Uemura (Tricia Gosingtian), Pong Niu for MAC Cosmetics (Laureen Uy), Owen Sarmiento for MAC Cosmetics (Camille Co), Hair by Mark Familara and Buern Rodriguez, Art Direction by Vince Uy, Set Design By Monica Sebial, Nails By Shiela Fajardo of Beauty & Butter. Special thanks to Anna Canlas and Karen Bolilia too, for always believing in me.
Having Harry Potter withdrawal now that the books and movies are over? Can’t go to the studio tour in London any time soon? Fear not, Harry Potter fans! I am back and I come bringing gifts. :D I almost missed my bus to this tour. I am so glad all the wizards in the world conspired to not make that happen!
Prepare yourselves for some major eye candy. Some of these are the actual props, sets and costumes from the movies.
Me at 4 Privet Drive. OMG. Also, I totally planned wearing my Gryffindor-colored sweater that day.
Leavesden Studios, where all the eight films were shot. This was where all the magic was made! You can get a ticket at £28 but you have to do it in advance!
Gryffindor uniform. You can purchase all sorts of Harry Potter goodies at the store by the entrance. Don’t be surprised by the prices though! £500 for Dumbledore’s robes set - I can’t even.
Triwizard champions wand set. Yup, you can also purchase this for display purposes! Or I guess you can also use them for practicing magic.
The cupboard under the stairs.
Great Hall cutlery.
Words from the directors. David Yates directed the last four films. Mike Newell directed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Harry’s, Hermione’s, Krum’s and Cho Chang’s Yule Ball costumes!
Chocolate desserts at the Yule Ball. Check out all the pretty details. I bet most of us didn’t even notice all this in the movie!
Sirius Black character art. He’s my favorite character in the books, and I love Gary Oldman as an actor, so just imagine all the spazzing I did while watching the movies.
Templates for Harry’s scar. The scar was applied by make-up a total of around 6,000 times (on Daniel Radcliffe and all his stunt doubles).
Fleur’s costume details. I’ve always loved her hat and the color of her dress.
Got a peek of Dean, Seamus, Ron, Neville and Harry’s room.
One of my most favorite parts of the tour - getting to see everyone’s wands displayed next to each other.
I just noticed how Umbridge’s wand is shorter than everyone else’s.
Because I am Sirius-biased. I love how his and Hermione’s wands don’t have obvious handles.
The mirror of Erised, where we can see the “deepest and most desperate desire of one’s heart.” I think it didn’t work because so many people were looking at it. The mirror didn’t know which desire to show first, lol.
Harry’s and Ron’s Christmas sweaters!
Tonks and Lupin, together forever.
Dumbledore’s office entrance.
Dumbledore’s office with portraits of all the previous headmasters.
Triwizard cup. Don’t touch! You might get transported to that graveyard where Voldemort was (unless you actually want to see him).
Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem. ”Wit beyond measure is man’s greatest treasure.”
Death Eater masks. They made sure that no two masks are the same. Everything is so personalized in this movie franchise!
AFRAID. And mini Voldy was moving too. :(
Dobby looks so real. RIP.
The iconic Hogwarts letter.
Ticket to Platform 9 3/4! Sadly I wasn’t able to go to King’s Cross station for the platform and the trolley disappearing into the wall. :(
What I believe is one of the best things in the whole Harry Potter movie franchise - The Marauder’s Map. It would pretty nifty if we really had something like this in real life.
Umbridge’s costume detail.
Umbridge’s office is super pink. And surprisingly adorable unlike the owner. On the walls are plates with cats on them.
There’s an outdoor section in the tour where you can buy refreshments and butterbeer! YUM. Official £5 butterbeer… that’s not even real beer. It tastes like soda with whipped cream. :)
The Knight Bus.
Diagon Alley! Obligatory Ollivander’s.
Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipment.
Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.
And finally, the highlight of the whole studio tour. Here is the original 50-foot-wide model of Hogwarts. If you can’t spend 3 hours in this studio, you can just swiftly breeze through everything and only check this model out. It is a masterpiece. I wish I could bring it home and place it in my living room. Oh wait, it’s bigger than my living room…
Meticulously made with traditional building techniques.
You can view it in all different angles, and the light changes depending on where you are in the room where this model is found.
This is one of my favorite parts of Hogwarts… mostly because of the precious bridge scene with Harry and Lupin talking in the third movie. (Obviously, the third book is my all-time favorite.)
That’s all for my UK entries for now. It was *insert magic pun here*! I absolutely recommend this tour to anyone visiting London. Even if you’re not a Potterhead, the sheer craftsmanship for all the props, sets and costumes is enough to make your jaw drop in awe. (Just got back from Singapore and saw tons of posters of a Harry Potter exhibition in Marina Bay Sands. It’s only 3 hours away from us so I guess that’ll do for now, until you can travel to London in the future!)
If you’re like me, who grew up with the actors (I’m the same age as Rupert Grint!) and the books, there’s nothing quite like seeing everything with your own eyes instead of through a movie screen. You might even get teary-eyed during the tour, especially if you’ve been having some major withdrawal since the end of the books and movies. However, If you can’t visit this tour any time soon, the books and movies will forever be around to tickle that little wizard in you.
“No story lives unless someone wants to listen. The stories we love best do live in us forever, so whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” - Jo Rowling couldn’t have said it better!