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, July 31, 2010

I need some advice, girls

My hubby has a really fantastic tech blog called Third World Nerd and in it he writes about game, software, apps, phone and digital camera reviews, new gadget launches and events, and how to order stuff from all over the world. That's the good news.

The not-so-good news is all his followers are girls! Nothing wrong with that, of course, since technology is not strictly for the male species, but I guess I'm just being jealous, especially when this one girl commented that my hubby is so cute. Like, wow thanks, but how is his face related to anything tech?

So... I was thinking of promoting his blog to men. Problem with that is I don't really have a lot of male blogger friends. Do you? Or is your hubby/boyfriend/brother into phones, gaming, cameras and stuff like that... and are they bloggers, too? Because I was thinking of sponsoring another contest to get you girls to get your guys to follow Vince's blog. I just don't have a gadget-y prize! All I have are beauty products.

So help! If you have suggestions on how I can stop these girls from creating a Third World Nerd fan club, I'd super appreciate it!  

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

About the abrupt blogging break

Nope, I haven't given birth yet. So many people have called and texted me asking about my online absence... and congratulating me at the same time!

This is why I suddenly disappeared.

I hate Globe. Super duper.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Look at what I found--a picture of me at 23!

Or 24. The black hair kinda gives away the time. I was black for a year (when I was 23 to 24) before I finally decided that black hair just doesn't suit me and went red. Which suited me really well! But then I had to try blond and chocolate brown and... okay, where was I?

This photo is from the Candy website. I wrote an article for them a thousand years ago, which I promptly forgot, and then they put it online! I'm a bit embarrassed over the article--sounds really amateurish, so... young. Then again, I wrote it when I was very young. More than a decade ago actually. Sigh. It doesn't feel like any time has passed at all.  

My gosh, just a shallow comment: I was soooo thin here! No tummy! I miss my no tummy body! This was the time Vince and I just started dating. My goodness, I was, like, totally in love with him. Still am! But now it's really love; back then I think it was more of lust!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Relocation. Rejuvenation.

Just want to say that I'm loving where I am right now. To make room for the baby, who will stay in our bedroom for his first year, we've transferred my gorgeous Prizmic & Brill writing desk to Vince's study. In one corner, him; in the other, me! So now I actually get to spend more time with him!

This isn't a good photo of me (hair unbrushed, no makeup) or my desk (messy!) but I'll post it anyway just so you see how happy I am to be in the same room as my hubby...

Yikes, am I huge or am I huge? Looking at that photo, I can't imagine ever losing abdominal fat ever again! Omigas, must get back to fighting form by Christmas! Will possibly happen as I am hell-bent on breastfeeding and everyone tells me that that will absolutely shrink all the fat away.

Missed my breastfeeding class last weekend, though. Can't seem to wake up, get up or do anything anymore. I'm so heavy! And I really wanted to go to that class (unlike the Lamaze ones) because I hear this all the time from mommies: "I'd rather give birth again than breastfeed. Breastfeeding is so painful!" That is scaring me more than giving birth! So I resolved to go to a nursing class and--surprise! surprise!--I missed it. Thankfully, so many kind mommies have offered to be my breastfeeding coach, or just meet up so that they can support me because they say that the next few months (years!) will be tough and mommies must help each other. I almost cried because that mommy who said that to me, I haven't even met her yet!

Which reminds me... You know, this past weekend, I was feeling very sad because something happened that made me realize that this world is filled with mean, nasty, evil people. And here I am bringing a kid into this awful place. It's insanity really, on my part, to bring an innocent life into this evil world. And then I looked at my mommy blog and my Facebook wall and my emails and text messages, and I was reminded of the kindness of friends and even strangers who send me and my family lovely gifts and good will. People all over the world are sending my little family so much love!

So I really should have faith in the goodness of mankind and the beauty of life. Thank you for reminding me of that. God bless you all! 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Well, this is embarrassing!

A blog reader corrected a couple of posts I wrote. Upon review, yep, I did make some grammatical mistakes. Tee hee. Thanks, Darce, for spotting the errors!

Remember when I said that I'm so grateful I hired staff who are better than me? Well, that's why OK! magazine is fabulous. My features editor Joanna Mendoza is such a grammarian! She's taught me and the rest of the staff a lot! Yesterday, over merienda, she whipped out a style guide for all of us to refer to (yes, while we were eating and gossiping!). For example, did you know that it's always an 's when you refer to a singular possessive even if the noun ends in s? So in my last post, when I said, "photo from Chuvaness' blog," that is incorrect! It should be "Chuvaness's blog."

There's a host of other rules that I won't bore you with. I will confess that I did get bored at yesterday's grammar session and just flippantly told Joanna, "Well, my rule is if I like how it sounds, then that's what's correct!" Oh, such a beeyatch I can be! It's a good thing Joanna and my staff have taken to treating me like a spoiled brat (meaning they ignore me when I throw tantrums like that)!

To be fair to me, I'm quite a fabulous editor. I'm a better editor than writer actually. That means when I look over other people's work, I can spot very quickly what's wrong and what's right. But when it comes to my own work... well, let's just say I don't like looking at it too much! That's why I love having Joanna, Elaine and Lana on the OK! team.

So, to my dear readers, if you spot an error--spelling, grammar, fact, usage--do alert me. Truth is, this is my blog and I usually just type away without thinking, unlike when it's for work where I really focus. Why? Well, aside from the fact that it's work, our editorial director Jo-Ann Maglipon once barked at us, "If you have more than three mistakes in your magazine, just go kill yourself!" Since I don't plan to take my life anytime soon or ever, I do take extra care with my work!

My husband edits me sometimes when he deigns to drop by this blog of shallowness. He's also forever correcting my pronunciation. I'm Bisaya so my spoken English and Tagalog can be, uh, weird. For the longest time, for example, I thought it was blah-tant (blatant), jew-dorant (deodorant) and picha (pizza). Oh, the humiliation! I'm so glad Vince is so patient with me. I'm much better now!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Wow.

Chuvaness is holding a contest over at her blog and the prizes for this particular one are outright spectacular!
 
She's giving away these Kamiseta suitcases packed full with the most amazing goodies: from beauty products and fashion finds to computers! There's bags and jewelry, too. And thousands of pesos worth of gift certificates and discounts to restaurants. And if that makes you fat, you also win weight loss supplements and a gym membership. How crazy is that???

Man, I wish I could give away prizes as insane as those in this blog. I will be giving away some beauty products over at my beauty blog and I've been giving away stuff at my Facebook page but nothing approaching the prizes of Chuvaness! Sigh. I wish I can make my readers just as excited. I'll have to make this blog bigger and more popular then so I can attract contest sponsors! Wish me luck!

*photo from Chuvaness' blog.

Pretty ladies all in a row

Last week, I went to the 75th anniversary party of Lancome. It was a very chi-chi affair, lots of French people, French wine, French food, French music... Too bad I'd forgotten my French! All I know now is "Bonjour!" and "Bonsoir!"

I'll talk more about the event in my beauty blog--that's where I usually put my beauty news and reviews on everything from lip balms and face creams to fashion events. But I just wanted to show you all the lovely Hollywood celebs that Lancome has signed up to endorse their luxe products:
Isabella Rossellini

Kate Winslet

Anne Hathaway

Julia Roberts

What I love about Lancome's image models is they're not conventionally pretty--Julia's mouth is too wide and her nose is too narrow or Anne's eyes and mouth are huge--but they are still astonishingly beautiful because they believe they're beautiful. That's a great truth we women must all embrace!

I also wanted to show off my gorgeous friends, Nicole Delos Angeles and Nikki Mercado.

These two girls are always dolled up. Always so fab! Me, I try harder now (I explain here why!) and it's really much harder now--what with all the swelling going on, the heat my pregnant body generates, and just how exhausted I feel all the time. But let me tell ya, when you really put an effort into your looks, you really do feel better! So be pretty!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

How I make my garlic bread (it's easy!)

Vince cooked his super special spaghetti with tomato meat sauce last weekend. Yes, if you've been following this blog, you know my husband can cook! Anyway, whenever he prepares that, he asks only that I make garlic bread, and I'm going to share with you my super duper easy way of doing it!

First, toast some slices of bread in the oven.

Second, slice a garlic clove in half.

Third, rub the garlic on the entire surface of the toasted bread. The now-rough surface acts like a grater and the raw garlic gets into each tiny crevice. This smells wonderful.
 
Fourth, spread creamy golden butter on the bread slices
to seal in the garlic.

Fifth, slice bread in half and serve immediately.

YUM! Now this is such an easy way to make garlic bread! This recipe sure beats my Papa's way of making garlic bread. When I was a kid, he'd make me chop up tons of garlic and then mix the smelly mess into a tub of margarine, which I'd have to spread very quickly on hot bread. The garlic almost always falls off and then I'd get scolded for not chopping the garlic finely enough!

Enjoy making and eating this!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I used to have more time

Last weekend, Vince and I turned the house upside down, cleaning, fixing, weeding out junk and basically making space for our baby boy, who's due next month. While cleaning, I found these in my cluttery mess:

Yep, these are thank you cards I made myself. In another lifetime, I used to start Christmas shopping by July (I took advantage of the mid-year sales), wrap all the gifts with carefully picked out wrappers by October, and send them out by November to early December.

December is when I start creating the thank you cards. I'd spend a week just designing the card, choosing the right heavy paper, finding new craft materials, slicing up the paper with a sharp cutter, then putting everything together. The glue takes a day to dry (which means we'll have to eat meals in the living room as the dining table is temporarily the drying table) and then I'd spend a a couple of days before New Year's Eve writing personalized thank you's and addressing each card. I'd usually make about 50 cards this way.

Looking at the cards I unearthed, I marveled at all the effort I put into them and remarked to Vince, "My goodness, look at these cards!" And Vince said, "Yes, you used to make them. I loved that about you." And I said, "I used to have more time..."

No, I don't make cards anymore. In fact, I don't even write thank you cards anymore. I just send a text message now, or leave my appreciation on Facebook walls. I just don't have the time anymore! I'm just too busy. But that's how I like it.

When I was 13 years old, I picked up my very first copy of Cosmopolitan US edition. I had read magazines before--Time, National Geographic, Reader's Digest were piled up abundantly in our home--but Cosmo was the title that made me go, "I want to be an editor-in-chief of a magazine one day!"

I became just that 16 years later. By then I had outgrown Cosmo and had developed a fascination with all things Hollywood so OK! magazine was just a dream come true. What I didn't realize was dreams can eat up so much of your life, whether you're making them come true or they already are true. It's actually better now--in the early days of OK!, there were times we didn't go home, we didn't eat, we didn't sleep. Putting together a magazine is a lot of hard work. People just see the glamour; they don't see the stress.

The great thing about dreams that have come true is you love and enjoy them anyway. The work is worth it. I know that Vince prefers those days when I had more time for him--I'd cook dinner every night, we'd go out often alone or with friends. But because he knows I've had this dream since I was a kid, he respects what I do and even encourages and pushes me to do better. He understands me.

But now a baby's coming, and a baby won't understand why his mommy isn't there 24/7. While a lot of women will easily give up their careers for their family, that thought just gives me a drowning feeling. I can't imagine not working. Of course, no one said I have to give up my job, but I'm scared that if I'm successful at my work, I won't be a great mom. And vice versa. Well, it's been said, "You can have everything, just not all at the same time." I want to be good at everything I do! And I want to do a lot! Good luck to me then because the next 20 years will definitely be a challenge!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Real Living's fifth book launched!

Last week, I attended the launch of Real Living magazine's fifth book, Real Home Ideas 5: Small Space Solutions. The event was held at SM Megamall's Atrium and you all know why I had to go: My house is on the cover!

There are much better photos at Real Living's official blog and even more details like designers present and the home exhibits they did featuring stuff from SM Homeworld. Anyway, I'm glad to report that it was a very successful event. How did I know? Well, first, it was well attended.

Second, everyone lined up to have their books signed by RL's editor-in-chief, the fabulous Rachelle Medina!

Third, there were celebrities (like Rica Peralejo, TinTin Bersola and Issa Litton), which meant that...
Fourth, there'd be tons of media coverage (I cropped out the cameramen and photographers from above photo, though).

This is RL's super design-savvy staff. I can't imagine creating a book (and the fifth one, no less!) while creating a monthly magazine at the same time. Sounds like suicide to me actually, so congratulations for a job well done, guys!

Oh, and look at me! When the event was over, I just had to get up on that stage and pose beside the super duper blown up cover. I imagine that it's a doorway to my house! I must admit that I did wish that were true. I wanted to go home just looking at that cover...

Then here's the RL version of my sitting area using stuff from SM Homeworld. Not bad, not bad. But I must say that I quite prefer the setup Vince and I have at home! Not RL's fault actually, more like SM's har har!

Oh, and here's a pleasant surprise! I met a blog reader, Joanna. She approached me and told me she's been reading Topaz Horizon for quite a while now. Well, that was just the cherry on top of the icing on the cake that was such a happy day! Thanks for reading, Joanna!

Grab your copy of Real Home Ideas 5: Small Space Solutions at your nearest bookstore, magazine stand, supermarket and department store for only P195.

Oh, and you can also WIN YOUR OWN COPY

Outfit details: I'm wearing a Collezione dress. This was originally quite long--its hem ended at that spot between your calf and the ankle, which means it wasn't a very flattering length. So I had it shortened to the knee. I liked it before (I like how I look like a pregnant zebra!) but now I find the top part annoying. My shoulders are supposed to be exposed, but every time I move my arms, it rolls up so I have to constantly adjust it. That's poor design.

Friday, July 02, 2010

33 weeks and 3 days pregnant today

This is what I wore to my doctor's appointment today and to the Forever 21 VIP opening party.

Such a pretty dress, right? I bought it from Kamiseta. Yep, I'm 8 months pregnant and still no maternity clothes! You just really have to spot which normal dresses can accommodate a big belly.

I try to look pretty because if I don't try, I will just get depressed. I know to most people, I'm not a fat pregnant woman but to me, 100 lbs average, I am huge! And when I say that, I get a rolling of the eyes but it really is very strange to be buying clothes in large sizes and underwear in XXL. I've been XS or S for the past 32 years, for crying out loud!

I also feel so heavy--130 lbs is not easy to carry. I walk slowly and with a most ungraceful duck-like gait. My back hurts like hell. Stretch marks are now very visible on my abdomen and thighs. Cellulite is everywhere. There's milia on my cheeks. My armpits have turned black. My toes and fingers look like sausages.

I'm not complaining, though. Everything will go back to normal (or so I hope!) in a few weeks' time and I'll have a beautiful baby boy to erase all the ugliness in my body away.

I'm so glad that even when my husband pointed out the cellulite on my thighs and the stretch marks on my tummy, he did so ever so gently and with a tender rueful smile. He understands. And for that, I'm definitely booking a laser appointment for those nasty stretch marks, a deep cleansing and whitening facial for the milia and acne scars, more whitening treatments for the armpits, and hitting the gym for the cellulite! Because Vince deserves a gorgeous wife just for being so nice to me!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Forever 21 opens in Megamall tomorrow!

But because I was invited to the VIP opening party, I'm going to snap up these babies sooner then the rest of Manila!

1. Maxi dress because when you're pregnant, a maxi dress makes sense.

2. Pretty tube dress because when I'm no longer hugely pregnant, I'm going to look so cute in this and my husband will most definitely like the sight of a hot wife (again)!

3. Sweet knitted cardigan in cream so that I can cover up when I'm wearing those two dresses above.

4 and 5. Also comes in black and my favorite color orange!

Speaking of orange, this wall totally caught my eye.

6. Also thinking of buying this leopard shirt...

So I can maybe look as hot as the newly married Megan Fox!


For more about what else you can find, go check out my other blog Beauty For A Living, like, right now! You can also find out more about the store (i.e. if you're one of the first 250 customers there, you get a P250 voucher!) if you join F21's Facebook page.

Forever 21's Philippine flagship store is located on Level 2, Bldg A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong. Have fun this weekend, fashionistas!