Something fun: Exchange gift ideas for Christmas from SM Stationery

Christmas is almost here! Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?

I’m a big fan of doing my Christmas shopping in one place. For me, it’s less stressful and more time-efficient, and all I need to do is find a store that has everything I would love to give (and receive!) and my Christmas gift list–and maybe a rest area where I can admire my purchases afterwards :). Lucky for me there’s an SM Makati nearby, with my fave section of all time–The SM Stationery department! I belong to that SLSB club–Stationery Lover Since Birth, and I had to remind myself when I shopped that I was shopping for gifts for other people and not myself, haha (but I got myself some goodies too as a ‘reward’ for successfully ticking off all the items in my Christmas shopping list, heh #treatyoself).
I noticed that SM Stationery had so many wonderful gift possibilities and they couldn’t be more perfect for the holiday season. I know for a lot of us Filipinos, Christmas means ‘exchange gift’ time, or ‘secret santa’, where you spread the holiday cheer by having a group of people exchange names for a secret surprise gift exchange. Categories like “something cute”, “something long”, etc. are usually decided on by the group and a set budget for each gift is also agreed upon. It’s a fun way to be creative and to bond with your officemates or relatives, and it’s something a lot of Pinoys look forward to during Christmastime.

If you’re looking for some exchange gift inspiration or you just want to see gift suggestions that you yourself would love to receive, I’ve come up with a comprehensive guide for you!
I’ve grouped them according to the usual exchange gift categories to make it quicker and easier for you. The fun part is that you can also mix and match items from various categories because the pens, which are usually “something long” are so cute that they can also be “something cute”, and I think we can all agree that everything in SM Stationery is something useful (especially if you’re a member of the SLSB club like me!). The best part is that you can buy everything in one place–they can all be found in the SM Stationery department. Enjoy, and I hope you find the guide useful! 🙂



Washi tapes, paper tapes and stickers:



Be fashionable when listening to your fave songs with these trendy headphones:


They have a lot of earphones in various colors too!


Organize your life and workspace/study area with these colorful paper clips and other office supplies:


So many colors in one pen! Perfect for planners and journals. Multi-colored pens:



I lumped them all in one category because they’re all those 3! 🙂
Animal pouches and wallets:


Correction tape, magnets and erasers:


Animal and cupcake keychains:


Too cute! Bunny earphones:


Colorful storage solutions:




Squishy miniature luggage wallets:


Kneadable art erasers:


Squishy penguin wallets and squishy camera wallets:


Squishy luggage tags!



They have so many sparkly metallic pens!



Must. not. hoard. metallic. tapes.



These are pens with perfume at the end!


Scented pens, markers and pencils! Bonus: They come in Christmasy scents and I really really wanted all of them:



These pens are so fluffy, they felt like clouds on my hands:


Neck pillows, fluffy and soft pouches and keychains:




This is a pen, a keychain, a penlight and a whistle! A must-have for anyone:



Pens in the shape of lollies and fruits, won’t break any dietary restrictions:



Help them label all their items with this labelmaker. I plan on getting that wood grain and clear tape for myself soon!


For scrapbooking and for crafting:



Everyone I know would be glad to receive a powerbank. Or two.



They have shelves upon shelves of pens in various colors:



True story: My life was changed when I got a usb fan–now the daily commute is a bit more bearable, despite the traffic, haha. These usb fans are cool and practical:


Calendars and planners to help them organize their appointments and gimmicks:




This category is a tough one, but look at this lucky find: This panda sticks out its tongue when pressed. Very unique and cheeky.




Pouches and pencilcases in all the colors of the rainbow:



Eco bags that are very useful and cool-looking too:



I saw these art packs which are so convenient and perfect for giving!


So many notebooks, journals, notepads, and sketchpads! Paper heaven!! I could spend days in this place:




To wrap up your presents, they also have gift wraps categorized by color, which was a nice touch for me:



If you’re too busy or in a hurry, they have ready-made pouches as well aside from the paper bags which I think is a cute and unique way of packaging your presents.


Happy Holiday shopping! 🙂

Stay updated with the latest products and promos of SM Stationery by following them on Facebook:
Instagram: @smstationeryph

On zines

The earliest memory I have on making zines was when I was around nine, if my memory hasn’t failed me.

I was probably inspired by that kiddie mag Cricket, since my mom bought me back issues from Booksale. Inside it were stories, poems, comics, puzzles, etc. I loved this formula so much, that I set out to make my own, but this time it would be about my obsession at that time: mermaids!

I got my multicolored ballpen, some paper, and wrote a short story about a mermaid, made a maze, drew the mermaid family, etc.etc. I stapled it and showed it to my lola.

In highschool I made a Leo DiCaprio one, inspired by Bop magazine and Titanic and delusion.

Years later I would stumble upon a local lesbian zine, and be mailed several: one about being an artist at work, another about someone’s daily routine. I would buy some local ones from the old Cubao X, that xeroxography event, and treasure a Booksale find named Invincible Summer.

My love for zines is perhaps linked to my obsessive/fangirly personality, and my love for DIY. When I make one, I always feel like I’m sticking it to the man, heh.

I made several zines years ago, which I entitled “Glittering Eyes” after a Roald Dahl quote. Recently, I made these:



My partner and I collaborated on this one:


Do you like zines too?

On moving and attachment

A few months ago, we were blessed with a fantastic opportunity, which we immediately grabbed. This blessing would mean we’d have to move and we accepted that with giddy hearts. We’re not yet truly done with the whole moving shebang, but I couldn’t resist decorating the new place even when it’s not the top priority–eep!

The previous tenants used extra-strong double-sided tape in affixing stuff to the wall, so there are some unsightly adhesive spots. Since I had to cover these spots, I stuck some of my artworks and art/snailmail that I received from awesome people to the walls using my ever-favorite washi tape.




ImageI’m happy about the numerous white walls I can affix stuff to and our bookshelf! I’ve always wanted a tall bookshelf with a glass panel so that it won’t be too dusty (asthmatic problems hehe) and hard to clean, and so that I can admire them books–my preciousssessss.

But! We’ve also invested in some under-the-bed storage boxes and filled four (!!) of them with books and magazines. We’ve also converted some cabinets that should be for shoes into bookshelves, cause for me and my partner, books trump shoes.

Our former home didn’t have an elevator, so it was quite a challenge moving with these babies. These are only half of what I’ve decided I couldn’t part with.


ImageI’m a morning person and I love the sun. However, the afternoon glare is a bit too wild in this new place. I didn’t like the flimsy white curtains sold at the mall, and couldn’t find dainty lace ones (any leads?). The thick white ones were too pricey. Good thing I was able to buy a fabric shower curtain that had this nice metallic gold and white pattern in one side, and silver and white in the back side. I wasn’t able to buy curtain hooks so I made do with what I had, and used safety pins. Success!

I want to hoard those shower curtains, but the one I saw seemed to be the last piece. Heh.

Speaking of hoarding, the main lesson I’ve learned with this move (this is the third time I’ve moved) is that I should lessen my hoarding and my attachment to material things. I gave away more than thirty books and more than fifty magazines that I loved and cherished to people who might be able to give them better homes than just throwing them. I wanted to donate them to charity but I don’t have a car and it’s a challenge lugging them around. I also considered selling them since I could use the moolah, but it was a bit more complex setting that up, (bank deposit, coordination, shipping, meetups, etc.) and I needed all the time I could get, so I decided to just give them away. For weeks I’ve carried some to work for office friends who might be interested. I hope they like them, and that they’re well taken care of. 🙂

I also realized that I’ve accumulated quite a lot of arts/crafts materials, since I tend to forget that I already bought this brush/card set. My goal starting now is to organize my supplies more, so this won’t happen again. I should also use these hoarded materials, which is what I’m doing now with my washi tape. If you’ve taken a peek at my Instagram account, username’s @aphazia, you’ve seen these already:


I like the designs of Cath Kidston so I used my pretty floral mint green and pink washi tape and used it to decorate the cabinets. I’m happy I got over my fear of using the pricey washi tapes and realized how life quickly changes and how each day should be filled with things that make you happy. So go on and use that nice perfume before it evaporates, dress up (you never know what possibilities await you!), go wild with your expensive art supplies and make beautiful art, or make a mess–just use it now if it gives you joy. 🙂 Have fun creating!

Artsycraftsy discovery: PixaRoll!


My friends and I have been talking about this cool app called PixaRoll lately, the “photo kiosk” in your phone.

If you’re addicted to Instagram like me (I currently have more than 1000 photos within a year!), you probably reached a point where you wished you could print your fave IG photos instantly too. Think of PixaRoll as a photo genie, making your photo-printing wishes come true! You can also print not only Instagram photos, but also other photos you have stored in your phone–read more about it here.


Have I also mentioned that there’s a huge possibility of cheaper prints when there are more likes in the PixaRoll PH facebook page? Let’s all work together and spread the word so we can make this happen! Think of all the artsycraftsy possibilities when you get your prints: scrapbook pages, visual diaries, travel journals, home decor, even makeshift cards and postcards! I can already envision creating a handmade album for the printed photos and giving it as a Christmas gift to the people I love. Instant tangible memories! I’m multi-tasking and selecting photos that I want printed as I type this entry. Haha 🙂


Can’t wait to get my prints–stay tuned for more artsycraftsy ideas on how you can use the PixaRoll prints!

P.S. Don’t you just love the fun, colorful photos above? They’re all from PixaRoll’s FB site. Like the PixaRoll PH page on Facebook: