Saturday, June 30, 2012

The end of TomKat


This was the cover of OK! Philippines when the TomKat phenomenon took the world by storm 7 years ago. Ah, 2005. That was the year Brad and Jen split, then Brad and Angelina hooked up, and then Tom and Katie got engaged within a few weeks of meeting, and then both leading ladies of the year's biggest romances got knocked up. Truly an epic year for entertainment magazines!

Fast forward to 2012. This is the year Brangelina finally got engaged and the year TomKat split. Another epic year. Katie was the one who filed the divorce papers, allegedly taking Tom by surprise since he was still singing her praises while promoting Rock of Ages. She's asking for custody of their daughter, Suri, and everyone is leaning forward in their seats, waiting for the ugly divorce and custody war. And this is Tom Cruise, only one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. It's a brave soul who goes up against him and everyone's eagerly waiting to watch how Katie will get what she wants.

But the divorce makes me sad. So many people--the entire world it seemed!--wanted Tom and Katie to fail. We all doomed their relationship from the very start. So each year they celebrated together was a triumph I quietly enjoyed. Then this.

It makes me sad. Tom and Katie fought so hard for their love, they were the epitome of you-and-me-against-the-world, that evil, cynical world. They fought back hard but in the end, the world won.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Another gift from Vince!

This was a complete surprise. Well, he did ask permission first if he could buy it for me (that's married money for you!) and I was so surprised that he wanted to buy me a new camera that I just said, "Sure, buy it for me!" I mean, really, why ever would I refuse? Haha!

It's a Panasonic GF3. I love it! It's so small! You all know we use and love the Olympus cameras but my one whiny complaint about it is it won't fit into my purse. So Vince got me a small camera. Hooray! Here's Vince talking more about the camera and why he got it for me. Thanks, love!

We buy practically all our gadgets from Amazon or from some other online site, have it delivered to Johnny Air NYC, which then ships it to us here in Manila. Why do we do that? Because even with the shipping and taxes, it's still cheaper to buy abroad. Want to do the same? Let Vince tell you how!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

My push present!


Today was a fun day. Vince's push present finally arrived! And I'm so excited I didn't get the Olympus to take a sharp and proper photo, just BB'd and Tweeted it to the dear followers and now sharing with you here.

It's a set of stackable rings in matte gold with all our birthstones: amethyst, yellow topaz, peridot and emerald. I'm so in love with my push present!!!

What's a push present? Click here to find out!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Iñigo and Vito and me

Vito inspects newborn Iñigo
Very soon, I'll go back to work and this blog will again be filled with the fun stuff, like parties and events and fashion and beauty. This was supposed to be a shallow fun blog so that's the way it should be. But for now let me steep in the most unglamorous life of a frazzled mom whose days are filled with dirty diaper changes, spit up on tees, breastmilk overflow drying on my chest, and soothing an infant and playing (and battling!) with a toddler.

I'm loving every minute. I'm tired every minute. I'm frustrated and exasperated. I'm exultant and joyful. No chi-chi party, no fancy dress, no glamorous whatever can give me what I have now. Happy days!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Living in gray

Gray is a color associated with dullness, rainy days and gloom. So when designing a living space, gray is the last hue anyone ever thinks of. Well, that's the color I'm seriously considering for our living areas. Why? Because of this:
Not 6-months-pregnant-photo-of-me. The sofa!
Hehe, sorry there's no full photo! It's a sofa I bought for Vince. It was my gift to him for Christmas, Valentine's Day, his birthday and our wedding anniversary. He's been wanting a new sofa for 5 years so last Christmas I figured I oughta give him what he really really wants. We love it! Super. Lesson here: Get what you want, what you really really want!

The gray sofa looks great in the house. We softened it with embroidered and fluffy silk throw pillows. But since I've been looking at bedroom inspirations, I started looking for gray living rooms, too. And they are, my friends, quite beautiful.
Blues and grays are so soothing.
Black, white and gray. And words. Perfect for writers!
A bit austere so the pops of yellow are welcome.
The gray is softened by the big pillows and filmy curtains.
Love the books!
Gray, white and gold. Elegant and chic!
Framed black-and-white photos. Of course!
Very bold! Love the textures and prints!
A bit country class but I love the dark gray walls.
I love the pale yellow curtains!
So comfy and quiet and gorgeous!

I love how the gray is so calming and elegant. I also noticed how the rooms had yellow accents in common. But any accent color will work against the gray anyway--the brighter the better, like pink! Ohhhh, I am so into home-modification mode right now!

P.S. Speaking of gray, who wants to read Fifty Shades of Gray? Watch this space because I'm giving away the book! Soon!

*Living room images from Naura Home Design, His House; Her Help, Rusty Hinges Blog, Homedit, Inspiration for Home, Design Darling, Kunz Design and Furniture and Interior Design 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Aaaaaaargh!


This did NOT make my day.

Someone get me a year's worth of spa treatments please dammit!

UPDATE: Been getting questions about the website that said I'm that old. Unfortunately, I had closed the tab before I could copy the link so I forgot! But this other website, RealAge.com, is highly recommended by Oprah. You'll get a similar result there.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Good news!

I said I was going to shop with my Unarosa gift certificate over the Pacquiao fight weekend but he lost and people were Tweeting, "Stay home! Pinoys are angry!" While I don't believe Pinoys got violent, stay home I did.

But this weekend, we ventured out and I shopped. To my surprise, I'm a size 4 again. And when I got home and stepped on the scale, it confirmed that I am back to my pre-preggy weight. It's only been 5 weeks since I gave birth, folks! I am so back!

Happiness! And that's why breastfeeding rocks.

Have a great week!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bedroom makeover inspirations

After all the excitement over the Ethan Allen headboard, funny it got eclipsed by the arrival of our son Inigo!

I've mentioned before that Vince and I have wanted a tufted headboard since watching Mad Men.
I love Don and Betty! That gold bedspread, not so much.
And Chuck, too, actually. I wish they had shot more scenes in Agent Walker's bedroom!
Sarah's uber stylish green and white apartment.
Now where can I get mirrored wallpaper? (Hi, Chuck! I miss you!)

Well, the heavens answered and gave me a tufted headboard in the green that I always saw in my imaginings (but I actually wanted white or cream haha). It's been standing majestically in our bedroom for 6 weeks now and I have had all of those 6 weeks imagining a bedroom makeover!

It was inevitable really. If we had gotten a white or cream headboard, it would fit perfectly in our coffee-and-chocolate bedroom. But we got a sea green one so I've been obsessing on redecorating. Of course, we could just follow the design that won us the headboard in the first place:
Behind-the-scenes look is here!

But now that it's actually ours, I want something less Ethan Allen design aesthetics and more Vince and Frances, the amazing design duo! Here are a few inspirations:
The no-brainer white-and-green combo.
Same combo but with wood accents. Kinda boring though.
Add a pop of color, like sunny yellow. Or a fab pink!
Maybe we can keep our current mocha walls.
Black, white and green. 
Or green with gray and glass!
 I love the surprise of the blue walls.
Or maybe we can just keep the room as is and
tell people, "The theme is eclectic." *Roll eyes!*

Very interesting ideas! Very inspiring, too. But it's all mood board stuff for now. Dream stage. Vince says if we're going to spend tons on renovation, we might as well buy a house-house and abandon our condo-house. He does have a point there but I love living high in the clouds so much so maybe this post (hi Vince!) will at least convince the hubby to paint the walls!

*Images from Better Homes and Gardens, Apartment Therapy, Visualize Us, Comfortable Home Design, Decor Pad, The Big Bed Company, Days of Chalk and Chocolate

Thursday, June 14, 2012

First date

Since the start of 2012, Vince and I haven't gone on a date. A "just us" date. A romantic date. A date that allows us to flirt, eat food at a leisurely pace. Nope.

Then last week, I remembered I had bought coupons from Deal Grocer, a really good deal for a lovely lunch at Lu (or more popularly called as LuLu) at Rockwell. I had bought it as a surprise gift for Vince, for our 5th wedding anniversary. But when that special day came along (April 18), I was very pregnant and very tired and just couldn't imagine going out. But I'm no longer pregnant! So Vince and I had an impromptu date last week.

Look at how happy we are haha!

We left Vito at home with the yaya. Vito naps around noon so we figured he wouldn't miss us. We literally stole away for lunch! But we brought Inigo along since I'm breastfeeding him. He's 4 weeks old here. Ya, so it still wasn't a "just us" date but since Inigo slept throughout lunch, it was easy to pretend Vince and I were "alone." Haha!

While waiting for our food, we perused the books on the shelves.
We started with pumpkin soup.
This Napoleon salad was a revelation! 
We had the basil-strawberry shake. The basil's strong herbal taste was a jolt at first
but this quickly became quite refreshing!
This is a goat cheese-and-mushroom open-face sandwich. It's very good but I shouldn't
have had it with the salad since they taste almost the same.
Vince had this chorizo pasta dish. It was very tasty! 
Oh, this cheesecake is divine. I dunno what that sauce is but it definitely
added a sublime freshness to the creamy dessert.

Yum yum yum! I want to go on a date again. Where should we go to next? We haven't been out in such a long while, we really don't know which restaurants are great to visit!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

What I want from Unarosa

I've been telling everyone that I'm selling everything in my closet. Nearly everything I have is for my pre-pregnant body, which was a size 4. Now I'm a 6 and, with my birth-widened hips and milk-filled breasts, I don't see myself shrinking back to 4 anytime soon (or ever). So I need to sell everything so I have money to buy new stuff for my new body.

Then I remembered that for Christmas, Pinky, my old old friend from way back in third grade at Assumption, gave me GCs for Unarosa. I wasn't familiar with the brand. Pinky said the clothes are nice and I'll like them. So I went to their website (but their Facebook page was much better) and she's right, I do like the pieces! Here's what I loved:
Top- P 1,795.00, Pants- P 1995.00, Shoes- P 1,760.00
I love pussy bow blouses. And lace. Vince doesn't like lace (he's reminded of doilies) but I really like that top. I also like the pants. But since I still have a post-partum belly bulge, I don't think I'll look good in it. Yet!

Dress- P 2,090.00, Shoes- P 1,760.00
Love this! This is very Joan of Mad Men. I love the secretary chic, the sexy-modest vibe. I'm just not sure about that hem--I'm hoping a good ironing will fix that. I'll check it at the store.

Jacket - P 2,760.00, Dress - P 2,195.00, Pumps - P 1,930.00
In this photo, it's the dress I like. I love the floral design (very on trend) and the sleek cut (very classic). As for the rest of the outfit, I'm not a jacket/blazer person and I am no longer the platform pump girl either. Motherhood. Sigh! 

 Dress - P 1,330.00, Shoes - P 1,760.00
But motherhood agrees with this classic wrap dress. I definitely like that bodice--perfect for the nursing mama me! UPDATE (June 29): I bought ALL the colors of this dress! Brown, black, gray and white!

Now that I knew what I wanted, I hunted down Pinky's GC and went on panic mode when I saw the expiry was the end of June! Shopping time! And tomorrow's perfect. It's the Pacquiao fight and whenever he has a fight, the malls and streets are empty. So it's the best time to go browsing and shopping. Will do an outfit post soon!

P.S. The model looks like a younger version of Queen Cersei, no?

*Photos grabbed from Unarosa's Facebook page

Thursday, June 07, 2012

In which I realize motherhood has changed my values in a not-so-good way (a.k.a. me musing about Mad Men)

I knoooooow. I've been neglecting ze blog. Forgive me, my dearest readers. I hate to admit it but "superwoman" me ain't super at all. I'm having a very hard time juggling the needs of a new baby and a toddler, on top of managing my house, and my work as editor and writer! Stress Drilon araw-araw!

But I'm happy. Yes oh yes!

Don Draper and Joan Holloway.
Two of the sexiest people on TV (and in the world)!
Anyway, does anyone here watch Mad Men? I never get to talk to anyone about Mad Men. It seems like no one I know watches Mad Men. I seldom get to feature the show in the Hollywood magazine I edit either. So I only have the hubby to talk to when it comes to all things Mad Men.

Such a shame since the past couple of episodes have been astounding and outstanding. But I'm not going to do a review today; I'm going to explore the decision that Joan made two episodes ago and how it's affecting my marriage (hala lagot!).

Joan, played by the lusciously curvaceous Christina Hendricks (who deserves an Emmy dammit!), got an indecent proposal. The ad agency needs Jaguar to hire them and the creatives, pushed by Don, are busy coming up with a fantastic campaign. But the head of the dealership association tells Pete that the deal would be made much sweeter and surer if he gets to spend a night with Joan. Yuck.

Pete and the agency's partners are shocked and then aren't shocked (pfft, men!). Don walks out but the others tell Pete to offer Joan $50,000. Joan is mightily offended, even though she admits that the money--four times her annual salary--is huge. Lane comes in later and tells her to not settle for the money; she should ask for a partnership plus 5% of the firm. Now, she's going through a divorce and is raising a baby boy all on her own. This is the 60s. A broken marriage was a shameful thing. What's a single mother to do?

She slept with him, of course.
Did he have to be so icky?
You have to watch the episode to see that it isn't as sleazy as it sounds. And to see the utterly magnificent acting of Joan as she plays the role of desperate mother, resolute seductress and ambitious career woman.

Now how is this affecting Vince and me? Well, Vince labels what Joan did as prostitution. That's very Vince--he calls a spade a spade, everything is black and white for him. That's what makes him a good man. I, on the other hand, am a believer in context. Shades of gray, if you will. So in my mind, unpalatable and despicable as the deed was, I saw it as something that Joan needed to do to secure the future of her son. Vince, of course, is beyond shocked when I said that. He exclaimed in dismay, "Thank God we don't have daughters!"

Well, thank goodness I wasn't alive in the 60s! What Joan did really didn't strike me as prostitution. For me it was a desperate act of a mother. Matthew Weiner, Mad Men's creator, says:
"Honestly, I think that if I had not mentioned the word 'prostitution' in the episode, I don't even know if the audience would have really realized that that's what it was. It's more complicated than trading sex for money because it's really about this woman getting into a position of power." 
And getting into a state where she won't need a man to provide for her and her son. When you're a mother, all your choices are defined by your children. Even Christina Hendricks says:
"The question is, what would you do to protect your family? Joan is raising her son all on her own. She has no help from anybody. So is it noble? Is it slutty? I don't know."
Ya. I don't know either. I do know that I'm a mother. I understood. I think I'll never do what Joan did but I won't judge her or women who had to make choices like that. So Vince said, "We have to let our children know that they will always have us, that they can always come home, so that they'll never have to do anything desperate."

And this is when I pray to God desperately that we stay alive and healthy, leading abundant lives, so that our sons will always have enough. Maybe sometimes even plenty. So that, as their father fervently hopes, they'll never have to do anything desperate.

*images from The Hollywood Reporter