LITTLE NOTE!

I'm doing a series of giveaways on my Facebook page, dear readers! Just visit my page for a chance to win some fun prizes!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blessings update

So people have been asking me how the credit card theft's been and how I am. Well, I'm actually okay. I'm not happy about it but I'm happy about my life so why ruin my wonderful life with a petty thief?

I was telling my friends that in the great big scheme of things, it's just money. Granted, it's a lot of money and I still don't know how I'll pay for it if HSBC decides that I'll have to pay for it (I really hope they don't!). But on that day my wallet was stolen, things did become very clear to me on what's important in my life. When Vince strode into the office pantry, where I was eating with my staff, with this tight and worried expression on his face, my heart went up my throat.

I thought, "Please, dear God, don't let it be someone's dead again!"

Then he said "The bank called. Someone's using your card right now. Check your things."

I hurried to my desk in alarm but all I felt was this huge relief. Of course, when I found out later that the thief charged a TON of stuff on my card, my knees went weak. But that night, I was able to sleep. Every time I would get upset, I'd remember that strange feeling of relief and gratitude that all my loved ones were safe, and I'd feel better. The past week's actually been good. A few upsets now and then and I've practically chained my bag to my person but, I'm okay. Had a lovely lunch with my in-laws, watched the Twilight premiere for free with friends, celebrated Papa's birthday, had fun chatting with old friends... Life is great!

Anyway, a friend sent this email last Wednesday that we must give everything--even the tiniest concern--to God. So I told God that night, "Lord, I know You are sovereign over all and everything will turn out well for those who love You. It is a sin to worry because it shows I don't trust in You so forgive me and I will offer this up to You and trust in Your plan, whatever happens! I just wish You can give me something nice so I won't feel so bad. I know I'm being selfish but I feel really bad so a nice gift will be much appreciated."

That was my prayer Wednesday night. The very next morning, Vince and I won a brand new Samsung TV LCD-HDTV! I kid you not!!! And it came with two fancy DVD players! We're so happy and excited. We feel that more blessings and surprises are coming our way. God is good! God is good!

So I'll leave you with that for a while, dear readers. I need to pack for our trip to Disneyland tomorrow. On my way to the happiest place on earth, they say, but I think I already am there and that's all because of the peace in my mind, the joy in my heart, the love in my life, and the faith I forever proclaim.

See y'all next week!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

My first Sony experience is with my Sony Bravia

Remember that story when I proposed to Vince with the Sony Playstation 3? Well, here's another Sony story. Because we have rabbits, we are quite fond of this Bravia TVC. Of course, it helps that we watch it on our very own 32" Bravia TV.


We're fonder of this Bravia Bunny, however. Isn't Galadriel the cutest ever???Our rabbits are Sony bunnies! Oh, and my two phones are sturdy Sony Ericssons, my SLR camera is a Sony Cybershot, we read books on the Sony eBook Reader, we fight over who gets to play with the PSP, and of course, Vince plays with his PS3 games and I exercise to aerobics videos played through the PS3, too, on our beloved Bravia.

Yep, we live in a Sony world because we really were quite impressed with the Bravia. It definitely gave significance in my life just like the Sony's World's First Noise-Canceling Notebook Computer, the VAIO T Series, which is what I'm salivating for lately because I want to blog anywhere and everywhere and in peace!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crappy weekend but fighting it!

Yep, it's a lousy weekend and that's an understatement. My wallet was stolen yesterday afternoon from my desk and I'm not going to say how much money I've lost through unauthorized credit card transactions but I will tell you this: When the bank told me the full amount, I nearly fainted. And I don't faint at anything. The first and only time I felt like the world was blacking out was when I learned Mama had died. Then this. So try to imagine how much I have to pony up when the billing statement arrives next month.

I'm fixing things now with HSBC and SM Cubao. They've been incredibly helpful, thank the heavens. The theft was captured on our security cameras at the office. I'm filing a police report as soon as I get a good image of the thief. I must say I'm impressed with our security video cams (but not our security guards) since the images are pretty clear. The thief's a fat woman. Yes, if you're reading this, thieving bitch, I just want to let you know you look like a greedy little oinker with no sense of style whatsoever. Obviously, not even thousands of cash can improve your looks or your taste. Okay, venting over. Pardon me, dear regular readers.

Funny thing is I think if she had bought groceries or medicines or even paid a hospital bill with my card, I'd be fine with it. Instead she went off and charged tens and thousands worth of stuff from SM's appliance store. Mind-boggling how evil and stupid this world is.

Although I am already expecting the worst, I do have hope that this will work out in my favor. Christmas is just around the corner and I was planning a big celebration for my family, especially since it's our first Christmas without Mama. Well, money or no money, we're going to have a blast! Actually, Vince and I are already looking on the bright side: This is a good, albeit expensive, lesson that we should be living simply anyway. Cut the credit cards! Enjoy homecooked meals! Shop less! Love more!

Yeah, things are looking up for me =)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Two new LBDs, baby! I love eBay!

So I've been getting inspired by WendyB's posts on her eBay finds (she is amazing when it comes to shopping on eBay!) and so I'm posting some of mine here, just to get the word out on how fun online shopping is. If I haven't said so yet, I'm an eBay junkie, too. Almost all my beautiful dresses and some sexy shoes and vintage bags are from eBay.

Why do I love eBay? Let me count the ways:
1. The hunt! I get a huge high! And y'all know how I love online shopping.
2. Second-hand stuff is kinder to the environment. Reuse, recycle!!!
3. Vintage dresses and bags are amazingly well constructed. They really don't make stuff like that anymore. Sigh.
4. I love the designer dresses I get for a fraction of the cost! I have a Miu Miu, a Prada, a Jill Stuart, an Anna Sui, and a lot more I can't remember. I do know that I now own these two BCBG Maxazria LBDs:


So sexy. So classic. So PHP 800 (USD 16) each! Ah, eBay... I love it!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Give me some leg lovin'!

My darling friend Kate Torralba just came out with the sweetest thing--a line of stylish stockings! At the exclusive launch at posh hotel Manila Peninsula, tall, leggy goddesses walked in Kate's signature colorful outfits paired with the fun stockings. I swear, we all put down our dessert spoons and gaped.

At just PHP 299 (USD 6) for the solid colored pairs and PHP 399 (USD 8) for the printed ones, I want to collect them all! Here are just a few of her designs:

I love these prints! Legs look delicately tattooed.

Vibrant legs! Kick 'em high!
An alternative to the ubiquitous fishnetLayer 2 stockings!
Head on over to Chuvaness' blog for more photos and a video from the show. Totally hot!

*Leg Love by KT stockings are available at her Greenbelt 5 store and at all SM department stores nationwide.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coffee means less cellulite!

Over the past couple of years, I've been trying out various cellulite-removing creams. Yes, I'm thin but if you're a woman reading this, you know that cellulite happens on anybody, no matter the size and weight. And I am an unhappy victim.

There are many active ingredients in these creams that are said to be effective in reducing the dreaded dimply skin. These are L-Carnitine, AHA, Retinol, chocolate, gingko, cayenne pepper and caffeine. So far, the ones that have worked on me are those that have the fat-burning L-Carnitine (Nivea Good-bye Cellulite) and the circulation-increasing caffeine and coffee berry (L'Oreal PerfectSlim).

I stopped drinking coffee years ago but when I heard that caffeine is a major slimming ingredient (used in diet pills like Fenterdren, for example), sweetheart, I just started drinking that stuff again! Of course, my insomnia is also back with a vengeance but hey, I can sleep when I'm dead!

*image used with permission from FreeFoto.

Skeletons in the closet rattle on for Jen and Brangelina

Well, I'm sure you all know what we at OK! are going crazy about this week. The bizarre love triangle that is Jen-Brad-Angelina. That threesome just won't quit! With Angelina finally admitting to The New York Times that she and Brad fell in love on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smith while he was still married to Jen, and Jen also commenting in a Vogue interview that what Angelina did (revealing details of how the affair began) was "very uncool," the entertainment media--which includes me--are definitely in a tizzle.

Brad and Angelina do make a lovely couple, don't they? And they're obviously
in love and happy. May karma never happen to them because those kids they have
would be devastated! I wish these two would get married!
I'm sure they want that, too.

Jen is now being attacked by rabid Brangelina fans as "whiny" and telling her to "move on." Honestly, I think that she was quite polite! If some woman stole my husband, you can bet I'll be calling her nastier things than just plain "uncool." I mean, really! The end of any relationship, most especially a marriage, can be ugly but when people start taking the side of the adulterer and his mistress, then the world has become truly evil.

Brad and Jen in happier times.
They did have dumb wedding vows like
"splitting the difference on the thermostat" and

making his "favorite banana milk shake."
I guess if your vows are silly like that,

you kinda doom your marriage, eh?

I'm no Aniston fan. I didn't watch Friends. I'm no Brad Pitt fan either, even though my husband is. I'm actually a fan of Angelina, having fallen in love with her in Gia and The Bone Collector. But I'm a married woman and anyone who destroys a marriage is just wrong in my eyes. True, marriage is hard. It's really one of the most difficult things I've ever done and I'm sure Vince isn't having an easy time either. That's why you take those vows--they're supposed to make you stay in the marriage whatever happens, at whatever cost, till death parts you both. I do believe that some marriages should be ended especially when one's life is in danger.

Though my Papa was always very sweet to Mama, he decided at age 40 that he didn't want to work anymore. In a very basic way, that is a huge betrayal because he promised to provide for Mama and her children till death. He refused to fulfill that promise and we all suffered financially and psychologically. I sometimes still wish she left him a long time ago. I think we would've been happier. But marriage isn't about happiness--it's about commitment and family. And because I saw Mama stick it with Papa till she died, I know I'm staying with Vince till I die. His parents are still married and he can't imagine us ever separating.

Australia's New Idea published a series of paparazzi photos
(one of which is posted here)
of a very friendly
Brad and Angelina in Italy in November 2004,

two months before Brad and Jen announced their separation.

But back to the bizarre love triangle. I've always been deeply disturbed that people are very emotional when it comes to these three. And I've also been profoundly afraid for marriage because everyone seems to have the opinion that Brad was right to leave a love-less marriage, and that as long as they didn't have sex while he was still married, no cheating was committed. Well, people are clearly missing some very important facts! Brad and Angelina were caught having sex in a hotel in Africa in March 2005, she moved in with him in August 2005, and she was already 2 months pregnant with Shiloh when Brad's divorce was finalized on October 2005. The marriage ended on October so any sex before that is adultery. And now Angelina finally admitted that something more than friendship happened while they were shooting that movie in 2004.

Behind the scenes, Brad admired his sexy co-star on the set
of Mr. and Mrs. Smith in this 2004 photo.

Even more than actual sex, the Bible says that just looking at a woman with lust is already cheating. In Matthew 5:27-28, Jesus says, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'Thou shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

I rest my case on that one. And don't argue with me. Take it up with God and make Him change His word, if you can.


*Vogue's December issue on newsstands tomorrow, November 19.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Black invitations on my wall

This is my magnetic wall at work. Those are just some of the events I'm going to this month. I wonder why all the invites I get now are black. They all look alike, I have trouble remembering which is which. Sigh, old age is catching up with me. I like different colors--they help me remember better!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Married to a writer

My husband, Vincent C. Sales, has three published books, two under a pseudonym. His first is called Children in Exile. The other two... well, I can't say what they are because they're under a pseudonym!

Anyway, do read the first part of his next book at Philippine Speculative Fiction's brand new site. And please support Pinoy literature!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The stomach reports

I have been eating unbelievably the past few days. At a party catered by Albergus the other night for the launch of Lacoste's spring-summer footwear collection 2009, I kept going back to the buffet table. I had the shrimp salad with tangy mango dressing, then I got the chicken tandoori, then the tomato cream pasta. Then I dropped by the dessert table and had a peach crepe, which was really good. I sauntered back for a second helping and then had the mango crepe, which was also good. Then I went back for the banana crepe, which was very good too! Then I went home and had a big slice of red velvet cake. Yummy!

That's just one night, one example. Try to imagine the rest of the week! I just can't stop eating lately. If I don't watch it, I might be popping some diet pills together with dessert!

*image used with permission from FreeFoto.com

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The right thing to do is not always the safest

On a shopping trip with my younger sister. We passed by a man on a street beating up a little kid. It was a busy street. There was a ton of people rushing about and there was this guy violently beating up his kid.

I looked because the boy was wailing in pain. I looked because I could hear the slaps and the fists hitting skin. I've never actually heard that sound before, although I had been beaten up before by an abusive boyfriend in college and my older brother had punched me in the stomach once because I was spilling a terrible secret. The sound of a beating is curious and I stopped to listen and to look at what was causing that horrible sound.

Then I saw, really saw, what was happening. I looked around, wondering why people were letting this happen. Then before I knew what I was doing, a big and angry shout came out of me, "Hoy! You! Stop that right now! That is WRONG!"

People paused and looked. He stopped and looked at me in shock. The boy continued to wail. Then my sister grabbed my arm and said, "Shhh, don't get us into trouble." She dragged me away... And I let her.

I don't even know if that boy is still alive. And if people even care.

Monday, November 10, 2008

We're going to Disneyland!

My wonderful parents-in-law are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary this month and they're bringing the entire clan to Hong Kong Disneyland! I'm soooo excited!

I've never been to any Disneyland. Vince was in deep shock when I told him this when we first started dating. He said, "It's the happiest place on earth!" And I, feeling romantic, insisted his arms were the happiest place on earth. He exclaimed, "Oh, but you have to see Disneyland. And Vegas! Vegas is the grownup people's Disneyland!" Okaaaay, if you say so!

So Disneyland and Las Vegas have been on my to-visit list for a few years now (plus New York, Napa Valley, L.A., Tokyo, New Zealand, and the Scottish Highlands). Well, by the end of this month, I'd get to tick one off the list!

Romancing the topaz stone

This blog isn't called Topaz Horizon for nothing. November is my birth month and the yellow topaz is my birth stone. When I was very small, my favorite grandmother, Lola Auring, also a November-born lady, showed me her favorite ring--a huge chunk of deep yellow topaz and told me she would give it to me when she passed on. When she died, well, you know how friends , neighbors and distant relatives descend onto one's home to offer sympathy? Well, let's just say that after all the confusion, Lola Auring's jewelry box and linen closet were empty. So a part of me is always looking for that topaz ring.

I've begun a modest collection of topaz jewelry. Yes, just 6 pieces: a brooch, 2 pairs of earrings, 2 huge rings and a delicate bracelet. It's strange but I love how warm topaz makes me feel. I remember Lola a lot, just looking at the stones. At the same time, the deep yellows and oranges remind me of the sun.

Topaz comes in a variety of colors--white, gray, green, blue, pink, yellow. My favorite ones of course are the pale yellows, deep yellows, vibrant oranges and smoky browns. Those are pretty rare. It's a good thing topaz is a semi-precious stone, unlike diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Even the rare ones are inexpensive. I've gotten really pretty pieces for very little money. Topaz is so pretty but cheap, you can practically buy them by the bulk from wholesale fashion jewelry stores!

Right now I'm eying this fabulous set from Ocampo's--earrings, ring and a pendant. The brilliant yellow stones are about the size of a pinky fingernail, surrounded by diamonds on a yellow gold setting. It dazzles like the sun! It's PHP 30,000 (USD 618) but they're willing to give me a considerable discount. What do you think? Shall this be my Christmas present to myself?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Today, I'm 32!

And I'm lovin' every minute of it!

Thank you, all of you who have made my life fantastic. I've had a pretty good 31 years, all things considered, so you can bet I'm giddy to be 32 and I can't wait for more and more years to pile up on me. God is ever so good and faithful to me. All the blessings in my life--small and great--I do appreciate. Well, the fact that I don't look 32 despite my laziness to slap on moisturizer is enough to give Him all my thanks and praise!

Now, my friends, please excuse me from blogging for a few days while I go celebrate!


* * * * * *
Photograph by Willy Saw, makeup by Mimi Bautista for L'Oreal Paris, hair by Ogie Rayel, dress and belt by Mango, jewelry all mine!

Special thanks to Dimensione High Street for graciously allowing us to shoot at their spectacular store.
Their staff is ever so helpful. All the photos from the shoot at Dimensione came out fabulous. The light was amazing (yes, that's natural daylight so, Lord, thank You for the bright cloudy day--the kind of day all photographers and editors love).

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Book tag!

I got tagged on email but I'd rather do it here on my blog.

Here are the rules for the Book Tag:
1. Grab the nearest book to you (not the most intellectual or your favorite. From where you're sitting, get the nearest one!).
2. Open the book to page 56.
3. Post the text of the first two-five sentences.
4. Tag five people to do the same.

And here's what I do:
1. The book is The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide by Douglas Adams. It's Vince's hardbound book that contains five novels and one short story. He loves it. I'm opening it for the first time now...

2. ... to page 56, which says,

3. "The real Universe arched sickeningly away beneath them. Various pretend ones flitted silently by, like mountain goats. Primal light exploded, splattering space-time with gobbets of Jell-O. Time blossomed, matter shrank away. The highest prime number coalesced quietly in a corner and hid itself away for ever."

4. Hmm. That was interesting and strange. I guess this book's on my To-Read list! I'm tagging the five people on my blogroll who've most recently updated their blogs:
Memoirs of a New Missus
Slave to the Page
Wendy Brandes Jewelry
Backwards and Forwards
Belle Lumiere

Interested in the story but don't read? Watch the movie instead! I watched it some time ago and thought Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was fantastic!

Photos of my life, part 1

Turning 32 tomorrow! Here's a look back at some of the most amazing times of my life!

WORK, WORK, WORK!
2006, Obviously thrilled at the shoot for
my very first "letter from the editor-in-chief" photo
(This is not the photo we used, by the way!)

2008, Promoting the magazine at radio stations very early in the morning

2008, At London for the OK! International Conference and very proud of OK! Philippines

2008, Appearing on TV shows, like The Sweet Life with Lucy Torres and Wilma Doesnt,
to talk about Hollywood and how to live like a star

FUN, FUN, FUN!
2007, I'm no party girl but when Cosmo magazine
throws its annual Bachelor Bash,
I'm front row and center!
(L-R: Red, Lana, Nic and Coni)

2007, Cosmo beauty editor Nicole and Cosmo fashion editor
Kat and me (no, I'm not from Cosmo)
enjoying ice cream and beauty products

2008, Supporting my darling Kate's store opening
(visit Kate Torralba at Greenbelt 5 now!)

2007, Singing our hearts out at Zo's birthday videoke party
(L-R: Zo, Kat, Jing and Nic)

2007, Ianne and me at the posh salon of Louis Philip Kee, our favorite hairstylist
(Louis has a fab reputation: any woman who goes to him gets engaged/married within the year!
I never thought I'd get married--I liked single life--but I went to Louis in March 2006,
by December that year, I was engaged!)

ANIMAL LOVE, 2007
I'm a rabbit mommy. I've lost a lot of kids
(Christopher Columbus, Waiter, Gandalf and Alice)
and miss them terribly but I still have
Galadriel and Matilda to dote on!

I've had a tiger on my lap. This is little baby Lilo (he weighs like a house). I bottle-fed him!
Big smile but I was also nervous big time!

And here's a little version of a tiger, Maisa's baby boy. I can't remember the Japanese name
but it sounds like Marshmallow

WEDDING, 2007
The moment I realized I was a bride

No, I didn't feel like a princess; I felt like a goddess!

My walk down the aisle with my beloved parents
(Mama looked so chic!)

The fun begins!

FAMILY LIFE, 2007
At the sunny wedding of
my younger brother Theodore to Rose

Realizing my sister Jacqui, who is 13 years younger than me,
isn't a kid anymore... and that she needs a good haircut.
Would like to bring her to Louis but
I don't want her to get married yet!

Our library! Yes, it's a dream come true. I live in a house with a library!


* * * * * * *

More photos coming!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yacht or chopper anyone?

My husband is the editor-in-chief of T3 Philippines, which features the hottest women on their covers. Oh, and the hottest gadgets, too. They've been having a hard time getting props for a photo shoot. And by props I mean the following: helicopter, private jet, yacht. We didn't know anyone who had any of those parked in their backyard. But I sent a text message to some people in my phone book anyway, for fun. As expected, most of the replies advised us to rent.

Then this message arrived: "Sure, will be glad to help. The chopper's in the airport and the yacht is in the bay. No jet though. Sorry!" Woah, I actually know someone who has a chopper and a yacht! I'm moving up in the world, people! Now all I need to do is find someone who has a private jet and I'm all set on the social climbing ladder. Tee hee.

Now who is this lovely lady willing to lend us her luxe stuff? Oops, I won't tell.

You know you love me. XOXO!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Entrecard made me popular!

Since joining the vast Entrecard community a month ago, my blog's popularity has increased. Like, a lot. My Alexa rank shot up (or rather down since the lower the numeral, the better!). Of course, I had to work for that by visiting Entrecard every other day and dropping my E-Card on blogs to earn points and gain visibility. If I just worked harder, my blog would become even more popular, right? But gee, I have to go make a magazine and keep house, guys! Anyway, bloggers have been advertising on my blog (see the yellow box to the right please) and I've been advertising my own blog on others. It's been an interesting and enjoyable month of discovering new blogs, that's the least I can say.

Oh, I'd also like to say thanks to my top droppers this month, ranked below. Please click on their badges to visit their blogs.