Monday, February 23, 2015

Lost in your eyes

Watch.


Oy naiyak ako. I haven't stared into my husband's eyes since the kids were born. That's almost 5 years. Sometimes I feel like my marriage is under attack from my own kids, simply because their needs are so immediate, constant and urgent that I have no time to nurture my relationship with my husband.

I was looking for photos of Vince and me looking at each other and, no surprise here, I only found these at our wedding.

I mean, of course we look at each other. When we're talking. But that's it—we're talking. Or we're minding the kids, or eating, or working, watching TV, or we talk in bed in the dark. But we no longer just bask in each other's presence. There's really no time. We're lucky if we have seconds just to stare at each other. I can't imagine four minutes. Maybe I'll try 30 seconds later.

We have a good marriage, Vince and I, but if we don't watch it, we'll lose sight of each other. I'm going to look at Vince, really look at him, from now on.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My fave things at home

Real Living's website recently published this article on my favorite things at home (click the link to see my list!). The article came out in 2013. Two years later, the items on that list I gave to Real Living are still my favorite things!

Well, except for the favorite appliance. I love my microwave oven now. I refused to buy one for years and years, preferring to heat food on the stove or in the oven. But now that I have three kids, I just can't do it anymore! All the preparation then the pots to wash up after! So because I value my time more than anything now, my microwave oven is my favorite appliance now!

A super favorite thing that endures all these years is the photo wall. I love it. Vince loves it. The kids love it. Everyone who visits our house love it. There are more photos on that wall now. More happiness in my life! What a joy to have a reminder of how blessed I am just because I see this wonderful wall every day!

Every family should have a gallery of beautifully framed photos! You can buy inexpensive but nice picture frames from National Bookstore, Our Home and SM Department Store. That's where we buy ours.What we also do is buy framed prints at furniture shops, take out the generic print and put our photos in. That's the secret to our really nice frames. Or we ask for picture frames for Christmas so that people will get us expensive ones haha. Where else can we buy gorgeous photo frames?

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Monday, February 16, 2015

#TopazReads: #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

I seriously thought I wouldn't make it in time for our first ever #TopazReads book club meet because I was sick and then my whole family (husband and three babies!) got sick. I just didn't have the time or the energy to read Sophia Amoruso's bestselling book, #GIRLBOSS. Not to say it was a difficult read. It's actually a really easy, fast read. I just had a tough past few weeks, but I finally finished the book!

Sophia is the young woman who founded the e-commerce site Nasty Gal and built it in a few short years to a fashion empire worth millions of dollars. She wrote #GirlBoss to talk about that fantastic story and to inspire other #GirlBosses and would-be #GirlBosses. I picked up the book because I liked the cover. I'm not a dainty girl, I have a dirty mouth, and I like to stand with my hands on my hips. Sophia looked like a woman I'd get along with and I wanted to know her story. Thanks to my sister-in-law, Anj, who gave me this book for Christmas, I did!

Okay, my thoughts: #GirlBoss feels like a blog. The good thing about that is it's friendly and easy to read. The bad thing about that is the "Yey for girl power!" voice robs Sophia of authority. She grew Nasty Gal in her 20s (she's just 30 years old now) so she sounds very young and very excited. But her voice lacked gravitas. I hate to say that because this is a woman who is a massive success. You can't argue with that fact!

I guess my problem with #GirlBoss is it didn't know what it was supposed to be: an autobiography or a business book. It was both but it was too conversational to be business and too business-like to be a memoir. For example, the book rambles on and on about how she couldn't keep a job and how she never had enough money and then POW! She's making $150,000 a day!

Despite that feeling, I did enjoy the book mostly because she sounded a lot like me when I was in my 20s. Some quips I liked:
On how her eBay account became huge: "I also responded to every single comment that anyone left on my page. It just seemed like the polite thing to do. Many companies were spending millions of dollars trying to nail social media, but I just went with my instincts and treated my customers like they were my friends." p. 29
This is how I grew my blogs, too! Well, I didn't respond to EVERY comment (maybe I should!) but many of my friends now are people I met because of my blogs, simply because I had conversations with them. Then they linked me, shared my posts, blogged about me. That's how you succeed in anything really—build good relationships!

On shitty jobs: " I approached them with a sense of tourism and experimentation... I was just going to see where things went. When you approach everything as if it's a big, fun experiment, then it's not that big a deal if things don't work out." p. 65
Totally agree with this. Us Pinoys kasi are poor so our parents hammer into our brains, "What will you do for the rest of your life? Get a job that you will hold for at least 20 years. Marry a suitable person by 25. Have kids. Be happy." So committed!!! You all know I took my time! And while I loved my magazine job, I've realized now that it's just a job and if a job ends, it's not the end of my life. It was fun, blogging is fun, freelance writing is fun, but, hey, if it doesn't work out, then no tears, no fears! (I can't say this about marriage and motherhood, though. You have to make it work!)

On saving: "When your time spent making money is significantly greater than your time spent spending money, you will be amazed at how much you can save without even really thinking about it." p. 109
So true. I earn a lot less now than when I was employed but I have more savings now because I'm too busy being a mother and any spare time I get, I spend on work!

On spending: "You can't act like you've arrived when you're only receiving the invitation." p. 110
Translation: Don't buy anything you can't afford.

On keeping out negativity (especially nega people) out of your life: "When you think about people, you give them power." p. 126
Again, so true! I spent a lot of time hating people when I was younger. I may not care what they thought of me but I did wish them dead. All that hate and anger just made me ugly and unpleasant! Meanwhile, these people I hated, their lives flourished! When I decided to forgive and focus on the good, my life changed. Don't let the people who hate you, have hurt you, or the people you envy stay in your mind and your heart. Their presence will grow and grow till you can't function anymore! Kick them out!

On challenges: "Dive headfirst into things without being too attached to the results. When your goal is to gain experience, perspective, and knowledge, failure is no longer a possibility." p. 138
It's good to have goals, of course. But very specific goals (like, "I'll be head of the department at 25, own my house by 26, married at 27, have kids at 28, and retire at 30!") tend to become a to-do list. You focus too much on ticking things off the list that you forget to slow down, savor the climb to success, build friendships, take a look at the people around you. I did that ("I'll be EIC of a magazine at 32!" I became one at 30.), ticked off boxes, and failed to spend time with my mother. She's dead now so that's one regret I'll always have.

Okaaaaay, there's a lot more quotes by Sophia that I liked, but I also want to share this quote from one of the other #GirlBosses that Sophia featured in her book:
Alexi Wasser of IMBOYCRAZY.com: "I found that by sharing my personal experiences, like through my blog, we're not alone—that the most shameful, personal, specific things you're going through are actually universal. You can laugh about it. I want to make a contribution that matters, and I want to be as vulnerable and raw as possible so other people feel less alone."
That's how blogging is for me!

So! Did anyone else read #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso? If yes, kindly leave your thoughts on the book in the comments section below. At 11 p.m. tonight, I'll be online for 30 minutes to respond to every comment and if you're also online, we can actually have a conversation! Do come chat with me tonight!

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Denim on denim on denim

My inbox is flooded with press releases and ads of brands' new collections and campaigns. And I dunno... I'm not a fan of this denim overkill.


Calvin Klein

Tommy Hilfiger

Colcci

Mango
Diesel

But, hey, if you look good in denim overdose, then don't let me stop you! I'd do it, too, if I looked as good as any of the models above!


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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My favorite new cool thing: my eyeglasses' Transitions lenses!

This post is brought to you by Transitions Signature Lenses.

Posted this over at my Instagram because I am sooo in love with my new Transitions® Signature™ Lenses!


Because I'm nearsighted, I've been wearing glasses for 25 years. It's safe to say that I have a huge interest in all things glasses. For many people, glasses are just an accessory. For me, my life depends on them! So anytime I see an ad on eyewear or an article on lens technology or optical shop sales, I am there!

Last year, I was so excited when Transitions® Signature™ Lenses approached me and said they're here in the Philippines! I have longed for lenses that react to sunlight for the longest time! Transitions® Signature™ lenses are the most responsive adaptive lenses, developed from Transitions Optical’s latest patented Chromea7™ technology and tested with an exclusive measurement methodology, Life360™. Lots of big names and patents and trademarks there, no?! This is because these lenses are the BEST!!!

And now I own a pair!!!

I'm so lucky!

WHAT IS IT?
I hope all those big words didn't make your eyes glaze over. To break it down, here's what you need to know:
1. This technology can be used on any prescription. Whether mataas ang grado ng mata mo or mababa, pwede siyang gamitin!
2. Transitions® Signature™ Lenses are not sunglasses. They are activated by UV light. So they don't darken when indoors and at night. They're clear. Like any normal sunglasses!
3. Because they react to the strength of the sun's rays, you get different levels of darkness. So if it's cloudy, it darkens a little lang. If the glare is super bright, didilim talaga siya. So kahit pabago-bago pa ang weather (sunny one minute, then cloudy the next) at kahit saan ka pa magpunta (lunch out tapos biglang papasok sa dark building), you won't need to remove your glasses.


HOW DO I USE IT?

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Topaz Reads: Discussing #GirlBoss on Feb 16!

When I suggested a book club over at my Facebook page and Instagram, I got enthusiastic support from a few readers. Like, maybe three readers haha but that's okay! I figured it's easier to discuss a book with a few people than say a hundred, right, so here it is! I'm officially announcing the first ever book for the #TopazReads book club: #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso.


I'm in the middle of it now and I won't spoil my review but I will tell you a bit about the book.

#GirlBoss is the autobiography of Sophia Amoruso, so, yeah, it's a non-fiction book. Sophia is the CEO of Nasty Gal, a multi-million dollar clothing company that started on eBay selling stolen goods. Wait. What? Yes, she was a thief and that's why I wanted to read it—I wanted to know how someone who used to be a crook reformed herself and got rewarded by millions of dollars! I like that the straight-and-narrow road has financial rewards.

The book came out last year and enjoyed success because—and this is my opinion—there were books like Lean In and celebrities like Emma Watson and social media movements like #YesAllWomen. I am all for feminism and raising awareness on women empowerment so I was happy to choose a book that puts "girl" and "boss" in its title. I just hope it's a good book!

So anyway! That's all I'll say now. The book review will be published here on Feb. 16, Monday. Then I'll be online at 11 PM to chat with you live. Well, if any of you are still awake at that time! Sorry, readers, I'm a mama and I can only work late at night! My guess is no one will chat with me haha.

To participate in the live chat, just visit TopazHorizon.com on Feb. 16, Monday, read my review, then leave your questions/reactions/agreements/disagreements on the comments section. At 11pm (+8 GMT), I will go live and reply to every comment that I publish. If you're online at the same time, we can have a real chat! The chat will last just 30 minutes because it's already rather late in the night, but I think it will be fun!


So please pencil the date in your calendars and see you back here on Monday, Feb. 16, for the very first #TopazReads edition!

#GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso is available at Fully Booked.

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Monday, February 02, 2015

Bedside carafe

Help meeeee!

I really really want a personal carafe on my bedside table (because for the first time in all my 38 years, I now have a bedside table!). I get so thirsty in the middle of the night sometimes. I have a KOR water bottle, which is really nice, but now that I have a bedside table, I really think a carafe should be on it! I like the bedside ones, it's just a small bottle with a cover that doubles as a drinking glass. I just don't know where to buy a nice one.

I found a few on eBay:



I like them all, but I do like Drink Me best because I'm an Alice in Wonderland fan. Trouble is all these carafes are abroad. If I do buy one, I'm afraid it will get broken while it's on its way to me!

Does anyone know where I can buy one here in Manila? Thanks!!!

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