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!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Vince gave me a handmade leather satchel!

I fell in love with the Cambridge Satchel a few months ago and was over the moon when I finally received it. But I had a few issues with it: the leather is too stiff, the hardware is made of nickel, and the buckles, the buckles! They are a terrible inconvenience when you're accosted by mall entrance guards asking to inspect your bag.

A lot of people who bought the bag also had the same comments. So I told Vince I wanted to improve the satchel's design. That was a couple of weeks ago. Now you know that the Cambridge Satchel was Vince's Valentine's gift to me so he didn't like it that I was not completely happy with his gift. So Vince (the best husband ever!) found a leather craftsman, told him what I wanted, and had a bag made to my specifications.

On Monday, I shrieked and shrieked when Vince handed me this:




When I showed it to some girls at work, they wanted one, too. Vince said the girls at his office said the same thing. So, hey, I'm going into the bag business! I have four designs lined up already and I'll be posting about them as soon as I have them ready. For now, all I have is the satchel. Do you want one, too?

I still have to tweak some details, like the tanning of the leather. It's completely tanned manually so there is an unevenness to the shades, dark brown here, lighter there. A lot of girls (even me actually) like that unevenness because it looks like faded leather. What do you think?

If you want to see the bag details, click here.

If you want to see the 13" dark chocolate version, click here.

*I didn't include my head because I have two huge pimples (twimples, Vince calls them) and I was having a bad hair day.  Outfit details: Kate Torralba halter top, Zara mini skirt, Nine West sandals

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Google Apps and Blogger and me

After a beautiful day today, I had a really bad evening. And it's all because of Google and its decision to consolidate all its products under one account. Google has several products--Gmail, Google Apps, Blogger, Picasa, Reader... a lot. Anyway, they decided that all these products should be accessed by a user under one account.

That's a really good idea (no sarcasm here whatsoever) so I did what they told me to do and consolidated my accounts. Here then was the unexpected problem, and I'll let Google explain it:


For at least 30 minutes, I lost access to my Blogger account because I used frances@topazhorizon.com to sign in to Blogger. My Blogger and Google Apps were in conflict. I was surprised at how I reacted when I logged in to Blogger and these words appeared: "The account does not exist." I gasped then panicked then, trembling, tried to recover my account then when those terrible words kept popping up, I wept. Wept!

I lost Topaz Horizon! I lost Topaz Mommy! I was literally shaking for 30 minutes. I felt nauseated and dizzy. I was so upset! Then I signed in again and this time I got through and a temporary email address was set up for me. You cannot imagine the relief that washed over me. I thought I was going to faint from it. I think the last time I felt this bad was when my mother died.

Fuck, it's so melodramatic. But it's true. All of the above hysteria did happen. If you follow me on Twitter, you'd have witnessed my meltdown. This just brought home the fact that I really truly do care about my blogs. I mean, I really do, but it's always just been a happy thing to do. Faced with their loss, I realized that they are far more important than I thought. Like I said, the last time I felt that bad was when my mother died.

Anyway, now I must move data. Or move email addresses. Still plodding through the whole thing. But I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think my blogs will be fine. Me? I don't know. I kinda feel strange that the supposed death of my blogs affected me like a real death.

I think I need to get a life.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sneak peek!

I've been Tweeting about this with utmost excitement yesterday so to all who got infected by my online shrieks of glee, here's a peek at my new bespoke handmade leather satchel!
Tough and sturdy hardware
Tanned and tooled leather--by hand!
Magnetic snaps for easy access
Flexible leather and extra zipped inside pocket
Extra secret pocket at the back
Perfectly hand-sewn
Isn't it so exciting?! It's absolutely gorgeous! I'll talk more about my bespoke leather satchel soon. Must plan an outfit first to go with the bag so you can appreciate it better!

Thanks, Vince! You always make me happy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

House hunting

Yesterday, Vince and I took Vito house hunting. After all, we really don't need to look for a new home since we already live in a fabulous apartment with west-east-south views and fantastic location. The only problem with our place is it's in a high-rise and a little boy needs big wide spaces to run around in and conquer. So since this is for Vito, it's actually Vito's house we were looking for!

The first place we went to was Kapitolyo, which is our home's backyard. We liked that it has the same conveniences of our place (in the middle of everything!) but we didn't like the security. Or the feeling of lack thereof. So that leaves us with the two other choices:

NEAR BUT FEELS CROWDED
Mahogany Place 3 is a DMCI project about 5 minutes from Bonifacio Global City. The benefit of living there is that it's near BGC, near St. Luke's Global (I'm a bit of a hypochondriac), near Makati CBD, near good schools.

Even though it's near everything, it doesn't feel like it's in the city. DMCI acquired the vast Acacia Estates and turned it into a residential development that has a resort-like feel. And I'm not quoting a press kit here. That's how we really felt! Security is tight. There's even an electric perimeter fence surrounding the entire development! The amenities are superb, the roads are wide and beautifully paved, there are clubhouses, commercial playgrounds, swimming pools and more.

Little boxes on the hillside
Tiny kitchen and dining area
And that's all there is to the living room!
Three bedrooms, one of which is decorated like a boudoir
A walk-in closet makes up for the teensy-weensy bathroom.
So here's the catch: Mahogany Place 3 is lined with townhouses and duplexes, narrow buildings that stretch upwards. The land may be wide open but the houses feel, I dunno, I feel hemmed in. Vince says they remind him of London. He spent a few of his growing up years there and he said it was fine. We'll see.

FAR BUT FEELS SPACIOUS
Ametta is a community development by Ayala Land or Alveo. It's gorgeous there! The townhouses are designed so that they feel open and airy. There's plenty of light pouring in through big windows into spacious rooms. There are parks and pools, pocket gardens and playgrounds, and wide streets perfect for a little boy with a bicycle!
Blessed space!
Construction is done well.
Side view of the house we really liked
Big kitchen with lots of counter space
Spacious master's bedroom with walk-in closet and own bath
Two bedrooms, one for the princess...
... one for the prince!

The problem with Ametta is its location. It almost feels like there's no rhyme and reason for its location. It's like someone built a beautiful village and dropped it in the middle of nowhere. The nearest schools, malls, shopping centers, hospitals are a good half hour away. Plus, it's in Pasig and during Ondoy, that area was flooded for a week. To combat this, Alveo built the community on land raised a full storey high and is currently improving the drainage system of the entire area--the streets around the village are all dug up right now. That's reassuring. And yet... scary still!

Vince and Vito and I had fun!
So we're still thinking about Mahogany Place. If only the houses were built like Ametta and had a location like Mahogany's! That would've been perfect. Oh well! The search continues!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

If the world were to end today

I won't change a thing. I'd still go about my day today, which is to spend the whole day with my Vince and my Vito.

We'll look at houses today. We can't afford a house yet but we still got a real estate agent to show us some properties. It's nice to dream and plan, especially when you have a darling baby boy.

We'll also drop by the Yummy Eats event at NBC Tent. It's the baby of my friend, Franny of Franywanny: A Food & Travel Blog, so I'm excited to see what she's been busy with these past weeks. Then we'll go to Power Plant and buy Vince a new PS3 game and maybe I'll go buy an electric pleated skirt from Zara.

Then Vince, Vito and I will go home, cuddle and watch TV while we eat the last tub of Haagen Dazs ice cream that Vince gave me for Mother's Day. I'll just stay there in my husband's arms, with Vito squished between us, all three of us in a pile, and we will laugh at the funny things we're watching on TV or at Vito's many new tricks or at each other's silly silliness. Because that's what we do every weekend and this weekend won't be different.

And if the world were to end at that point, it would be most bittersweet because I have never been this happy in my life and so I regret nothing. Well, I would regret one thing and that's I won't see my darling Vito grow up into a handsome, healthy, smart, loving man. And that thought makes me sad.

So I hope the world doesn't end today or ever because some good things shouldn't end, and what I have right now, right here in my small apartment that's filled with all the love in the world, is very good.

Friday, May 20, 2011

What I wore... to the Jessica Soho interview

Because some people asked me on Twitter, here's what I wore: I wore my favorite black Karimadon dress, Cole Vintage leather flats, Vita Fede leather-and-bamboo bangle, and my Gucci bag with the limited edition snowman-elephant print.

For the interview, I brought out the Evita Peroni fascinator I won from Daphne's Diary. I also wore these fab plastic earrings I bought from a tiangge for P200.

For my makeup, click here!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My life's magic charms

Today's Tweet:
"Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you."
A lot of people go by the motto, "Life is short so spend it with the people you love." So I do. I really do. Especially after my mother died. Even though I'm busy, I make time to see, talk, write to, spend even just a few minutes with the people I adore. And I am so so so very glad they do the same.  

Obviously, if I don't spend time with you, I don't love you. Obviously, if you don't spend time with me, you don't love me. It's simple enough and I feel no guilt or sadness over this. Neither should anyone actually. Again, life is too short to spend it suffering the presence of people you intensely dislike or who don't like you. 

It is sad, I will admit, that the people I should love and who should love me are the very ones who suck the happiness out of me. My happiness and my money, I'd like to add. Do you have people like that in your life, too? I call them Dementors. 

Thank God I have Vince and Vito. They are my powerful Patronus charms. I know Patronuses (Patronusi? Patroni?) are supposed to take animal form. Well, Vince and Vito were both born in the year of the Tiger so they can be tigers. Or because they are just too wonderful and adorable and chase all the gloom away, they can be rabbits!

Do you have a Patronus, too? Take care of them! They're the magic in our life! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This is why I love Japan!

Enjoy!



Those Japanese are beyond crazy! I laughed until my tummy hurt and there were tears in my eyes. I have got to visit Japan soon!!! But I hope I don't get to be a prank victim!

What rhymes with anniversary?

Well, for Vince it's a PS3! For me, it's a shopping spree!

Yup, that's what we got each other for our wedding anniversary last April 18. I got him a new console to replace the first one I gave him in 2006. Back then, the newly launched Playstation 3 was a whopping 45K; (now, it's less than 15K). That's why I proposed to him because in my mind, a mere boyfriend shouldn't be getting gifts as pricey as that. He better be my fiance, dammit! To my delight, Vince agreed with me wholeheartedly and married me four months later.

Vince is beyond thrilled with his new plaything (see photo here!). I didn't get him PS3 games, though. He still has tons of games he hasn't been able to play since going back to advertising. But because of my gift, he's been devoting a couple of hours every other day to gaming pleasure.

Do I recommend giving Playstation 3, Wii and other gaming consoles to your hubby? Yes! When it's from you, they feel so loved and appreciated. They think, "She really understands me!" Plus, because it's from you, you get to control his gaming hours! Best. Gift. Ever!

As for moi, I got a shopping spree! I've already bought some cool things but I'm not yet done. This is so much fun! Thanks, Vince! Happy anniversary!

Monday, May 09, 2011

How did I sound in your head?

Looks like a lot of you saw my guest stint at Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho. I didn't (we watched Fringe instead!) but blog reader Mav Duran sent me a link and so I was able to watch it. Thanks, Mav!

Don't blink or you'll miss it!



On Twitter (follow me!), some of my followers who watched the show teased me about my voice. Yes, it's really soft and high-pitched. I screech when I'm excited, too. It's okay, I don't get offended about it. I even coined a term for my voice--boses pekpek. In polite company, it's boses ipis.

I used to try to modulate but I dunno, I just never can do it. As a writer, I never dreamed I'd be in a position that I'd have to actually express my thoughts verbally so public speaking was never a skill I developed.

I do wonder, though, since my Twitter followers said, "I didn't imagine you to sound like that" and "Your voice is unexpected," I wonder how exactly did you think I'd sound? Just curious!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

My first ever Mother's Day!

And, yes, it's a most glorious day.

Happy Mother's Day!


Want to know more about Vito's new milestones and maybe win a LeSportsac diaper bag? Click here!

Friday, May 06, 2011

4 things I learned from my marathon TV appearances

It's been exactly one week since the royal wedding of William and Catherine but the fascination remains. I'm an entertainment magazine editor so part of my job is to appear on TV shows to talk about the biggest wedding of the year (the century!).
Thanks, Daphne, for my fascinator!
Anyway, I thought my TV stint was at an end, especially now that William and Kate are back at their secluded Anglesey home. But today, I was asked to do another interview for Jessica Soho's show. This time, I was asked to talk about hats and why British women wear such outlandish creations. This totally delighted me because I finally found an excuse to wear the fascinator Daphne gave me last year!

You can find out what I said tomorrow on Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho at 8:30pm on GMA 7. For now, let me share with you what I learned from my stint as a resource person for TV shows.

1. Only your face matters.
At the start, I used to wear Spanx, polish my nails and wear my nice shoes. Since it wasn't necessary for me to walk around, however, all that didn't matter as the camera just focused on my face. So I stopped wearing my heels, let my tummy hang out, and wore nice earrings instead. I tried big necklaces but the sound guy said that the necklace kept bumping the microphone so earrings then!  

2. There's no such thing as too much makeup. 
I did my own makeup and people always remarked I looked so pale and tired. So with each appearance, I slapped on more makeup till I thought my face would crack. I think I did okay this time, maybe more eye makeup, though. We'll find out tomorrow!

3. Don't move too much. 
Yep, stay in the frame. Now I talk with big gestures, big movements. Sometimes I even dance and jump when I talk. It helps me express my thoughts better. But on TV, you're trapped in a tiny square so this was a nightmare! I had a hard time thinking and talking and sounding smart! Must learn how to think while not moving.

4. Be nice to the crew. 
Because if they like you, they can edit what you said so that you sound like a genius! I watched a few of my appearances, reluctantly at first because I knew we had to do several takes. But, lo and behold, they edited it so well, I sounded like a British royalty historian! 

Yes, I learn something new every day. Maybe the lessons I learn today will help me when I make my own lifestyle show one day! 

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Look at these pretty pearl pieces!

I love jewelry. They just make every outfit look loads better! You know what looks really great with everything? Pearls.

Of course, real ones are the best but, my goodness, a pair of real pearl studs costs as much as a MacBook Air so I really don't mind wearing less expensive but just as beautiful pieces like these gorgeous necklaces from Carolee's new Style Icon Collection:
Jackie Pearl Necklace with Emerald-Cut Crystal Clasp
Jackie 8mm Three Row Pearl Necklace
Michelle 16mm Pearl Necklace
The collection is named after glamorous women in history: Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Evita Peron, Wallis Simpson and Michelle Obama.


The U.S. President's wife actually owns a Carolee pearl necklace and she wore it on the cover of Newsweek and on the night her husband won the Democratic nomination. Yeah, the night the couple made the fist bump famous.

Since I have Mrs. Obama's penchant for sheath dresses and pearls, I guess I should go and stock up on Carolee necklaces! And I'm actually going to Rustan's Makati tomorrow. Hmm. I just might get myself one. I actually have my eye on this Evita perfection:
Evita Five Row Graduated Pearl Necklace
It's lovely. Perfect for Mother's Day!

For another Mother's Day gift, click here to see what Michael Kors made for mommies!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Crazy schedule almost at an end

April has been particularly insane. It's the anniversary issue of the magazine I edit. It's also been the royal wedding month so I've been appearing on several TV shows regularly.

Fully made up and still pale
Like Catherine, the new Duchess of Cambridge, I did my own makeup. Unlike Catherine, I didn't look as fabulous on screen! I honestly don't know how to do makeup for the camera. I'm always still very pale and my dark circles always still show up.

I need to learn to cake it on, contour my cheeks and nose, make my eyes stand out (on video, my eyes look very small), and I really should wear lipstick.

At TV5's morning show, the makeup artist dragged me to his chair even though I said I looked fine. He said I looked awful. "Ate, mag-pink lipstick ka," he demanded while he applied this alarming shocking pink on my lips. "Tanda mo tingnan sa beige at sa red. Promise." I so did not believe him. But on TV, the shocking pink was a pretty rose pink! Wow.

So anyway. TV guestings, radio tours, and now a working weekend as we rush to finish the wedding special and run the May issue by tomorrow evening. Wish us luck, folks, because the entire magazine staff is about to collapse.

Then there were events I had to attend, dinners with friends (I promised that I will no longer neglect my friendships), blogger friends to meet, a new workout to try, Amper family issues to resolve (why do I never have Sales family problems?), and a garage sale to do (I earned P15,000! Hooray!) which I promised on my Twitter to never ever do again. Then my yaya and maid went on a five-day leave because of a family tragedy. I honestly have no idea how I'm still standing up!

We were all so excited for Vito's first plane ride!
(click to see how cute Vito is!)
Of course, April was also a happy month--it was my wedding anniversary! Vince and I had so much fun celebrating it. Then we went to the incredible Shangri-la Mactan, too. Soooo many photos, so no time to tell you about them all! As soon as things settle down, folks, I'll blogathon!