Friday, October 31, 2008

Meet my old baby girl

She's Galadriel, named after the elf queen in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. She's almost 7 years old, a grandma in rabbit years. This was taken two years ago, when she was perky and plump and fast. Yes, she's 2 feet long with a 17-inch waistline. Fat wabbit!

This was taken when she was first brought home. What a fist of fur! Oh, how she skidded about the parquet floors and nosed about every nook and cranny, jumped high over any obstacle, and basically was super adorable.

She's slow now, preferring to lie quietly in the sun. She still loves her cuddles though. When Vince and I are anywhere near, she'll hop slowly to our feet and nudge us, demanding to be petted and loved. And then we'll oblige of course and she will sit quietly, happily, content. I get sad sometimes, afraid that my darling baby will leave me, too, just like little Alice in the photos below, taken almost a year ago.

Oh, how we love our baby bunny! She's our darling dearest. Vince and I adore her to bits!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Beautiful strong bones

So I may be flabby and un-muscly, with weak eyesight and even weaker lungs but at least I know I have strong bones!

In keeping with the season's spooky themes, today's entry is about my skeleton. Yesterday at work, we had a bone density scanner machine. The scan would normally cost Php 4000 (USD 85) at hospitals but the service yesterday was free so we all lined up to look into our bones. I was afraid I'd have weak bones. Being lactose intolerant, I don't drink milk and avoid dairy. That's why I'm small (I'm a mere 5'4") and skinny (my wrists and ankles are the tiniest things). And I don't exercise so I know my bones aren't being reinforced by physical activity. So there I was dreading away.

But surprise, surprise! The machine read that my bones are actually okay! I scored a 1 (the scale was -2 to 2, -2 means you're extremely high risk for osteoporosis and 2 means your bones are strong and healthy). I got a 1! The bone analyst said my diet of green leafy veggies and fish supplies my calcium needs although he warns that if I plan to get preggers soon, I better up the calcium intake.

So that's my happy news today. Happy Halloween!

*image from Clipart Heaven

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Must speak English

Or write in it actually. I'm from Manila and I speak Tagalog and I can't help but code-switch when I'm writing in this blog. Because I speak English better than Tagalog, this blog is mostly in English but I do have Tagalog expressions that leak into the posts. The Mother Tongue sometimes expresses it best. But when this SiteMeter report came in, I just knew it's time to say au revoir to my beloved Tagalog.

Yes, 62% of my readers are not from the Philippines. Hello to you all, readers and lurkers alike! Do tell me what the weather's like in your part of the world. Here in Manila, it's like a burning oven. Unbelievable how hot it is considering Christmas is just around the corner!

Oh, and may I remind you that I have a blog contest happening! I'm giving away two Sunsilk hair treatment gift packs. Join now!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shoulda Woulda Coulda

This is for Mama who passed away exactly a month ago. I miss you dearly.

I don't believe in dwelling on things that I should've done, shouldn't have done because at that time, that was my truth and I needed to live that truth. I lived the way I lived and I did what I had to do to be happy, to grow up, to find me. Still, when the silence becomes deafening I can't help but feel sorry I put you aside so that I can be me.

I know I'm right where I belong
But sometimes when I'm not that strong
I wish I, wish I'd done a little bit more
Now shoulda woulda coulda means I'm out of time
Shoulda woulda coulda can't change your mind
And I wonder, I wonder what I'm gonna do
"Shoulda woulda coulda" are the last words of a fool.

More on how my skin cleared up

Someone left a comment about how the "engagement-as-an-acne-cure story is cute" but he/she thinks I actually did use a product.

Well, dear curious reader, I was taking Yasmin. It's what my obstetrician-gynecologist prescribed for my endometriosis and what my dermatologist prescribed for my acne. I was so happy that two doctors told me to take the same thing to address two different conditions. Apparently, since my pimples were cystic and I had an endometrioma (or cyst) on my right ovary, then they are one and the same so one treatment can alleviate both. At least, that's the theory that worked happily in my case.

So that's the internal treatment. Now for the external. Rose, now my sister-in-law, got engaged around the same time and she had lovely glowing skin. She says she uses Olay Total Effects. I bought a jar et voila! Beautiful skin. I also happened to have had a few diamond peel sessions around this time.

So Yasmin, Olay Total Effects, diamond peels plus love equals clear skin!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How does one lose fat when you're already thin?

Okay, I'm on a blogging roll. Might be gone next week because it's my magazine's deadly deadline week so I'm writing enough posts to keep you busy!

So as I published the last post, I wondered how on earth can I lose the fat when I'm already 15 pounds underweight? I honestly do not want to become anorexic. I've put a lot of veggies and fiber in my diet. I've also cut back on sugar and carbs. Of course, at meal times, everyone's worried about me! "Are you on some diet?!" they accuse. And I mumble, "Well, I'm trying to be healthy."

Can you believe I'm even beginning to be attracted to those diet pills on TV like Fitrum, Slenda and Phentermine? Maybe I'll just try it for a month and then supplement it with body-weight exercises to build muscle. Argh! This is so confusing and hard! I want to be healthy but I don't want to be super skinny!

I joined a contest to win a Moleskine notebook!

I love contests. So when I found the and Wifely Steps Moleskine Giveaway, well, I just had to join! The prize is a Moleskine notebook and although Vince and I already have Moleskine notebooks here (bought them from London!), we won't say no to one more.

All I have to do is answer this question: "What would you write in your Moleskine?"

Well, this is what I would write: All the things I can't write on my public blog! And that's a lot.

Though this blog is pretty much quite out there, believe me, there are a lot of things that are boiling up inside me that I don't write here. This used to be a very negative blog, full of ranting and raving and bitter hatred against the world. Most of the sources of resentment is imagined, I now think. This blog has caused some pretty big problems for me because I carelessly treated it as a diary where I poured out all my insecurities, anger, resentment, fears. And you know what? No one really likes reading nasty things.

My current Moleskine journal

So I cleaned up this blog, took down hurtful posts, and promised I'd write only silly and shallow things. My blog's readership almost immediately went up! While I'm glad I have new friends through this now-very-positive blog, that doesn't mean I'm all sunshine. A lot of things I'm now dealing with is Mama's death, my family's reconciliation, my very new marriage, my aging, my life! Some things are difficult to deal with or too joyful, too intimate to share to the world. And so when I get my Moleskine, I'll write all the things that happen in my private life so that I can deal better and make my public life be as sunshiny as it is.

* * * * * * *
Hey, in case we all forget, I have an ongoing contest myself! So few are joining. Do scroll down and join my Curly vs Straight Sunsilk Giveaway!

Two years of clear skin!

Okay, quick post. Woke up this morning and stared at the mirror. With absolute joy. My skin looks fabulous!

You can't imagine how something as silly as that gives me so much pleasure. I've had terrible cystic acne since I was 12 and I pretty much tried every acne treatment under the sun. I even took expensive pimple medication but the acne and the scars stayed till I was 30. So I never really liked looking at mirrors. Now, I do!

Maybe it's because my skin grew up or perhaps it's the years of hormone therapy I've been on (for my endometriosis). Whatever the reason I am oh so glad my skin has finally cleared up! Actually, my friends tease me that my skin's secret was my engagement. Yep, I got engaged December 2007. By January 2008, my skin was fantastic. Fancy that, eh?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Still looking for a desk!

We moved into our lovely condominium just over a year ago and everything is in place except for my own desk, a bed frame and a seriously wonderful shoe cabinet. The shoe cabinet has to be custom-built since Vince and I have a lot of shoes. That's the great thing about my husband--he'll gawk and complain when I shop for dresses and accessories and stuff, but when I come home with shoes and books, he is wonderfully supportive. That's our huge vice--books and shoes!

Anyway, I'm beginning to think my desk has to be custom-built, too. I have scoured the shops and markets and have not fallen in love with anything. Nothing!

I did see this photo from's section on computer desks and I think that's feasible. It's compact, simple and saves space. Maybe I'll just have the whole thing done in dark wood or a bright pink. A candy pink! Maybe a happy yellow! Or basic white. Gee, now that I've found a desk, I have to worry about the colors next. Sigh, it never ends...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Straight vs Curly

Just came from a rather interesting press lunch. It was for Sunsilk's newest line, the Sunsilk Style Collection. The styling products promise to make hair sleek and shiny or bouncy and full of body. What made the press conference interesting was this segment called "The Great Hair Debate: Straight vs Curly." The debate got really nasty! Here are snippets:

Straight: "In job interviews, straight-haired women will get the job more than curly-haired ones because curly hair means they're messy and unreliable."
Curly: "That's because straight hair is boring. So women with straight hair are boring!"
Straight: "Well, curly hair makes women look fat!"
Curly: "Curly is sexy! Curls just wanna have fun!"
Straight: "Poodle!"
Curly: "Stringy!"

And so it went. Woah, ladies, it's just hair! Personally, I like hair that's wavy and full of body and bounce. I do feel that super straight hair is just a tad ho-hum.

Exhibit A: Jennifer Aniston on the cover of Rolling Stone. She may have a rockin' body but with her super sleek hair, she still looks sweet and safe.

Exhibit B: Angelina Jolie smolders on Vanity Fair. ’Nuff said.

Both stars are lovely but hair that's big and wavy just adds more dynamite, don't ya think?

So... curly or straight? Why? Tell me what you think and I'll give away one set of Sunsilk Style Straight & Sway (shampoo, conditioner, cream and wax), and one set of Sunsilk Style Curls & Wave Bounce (shampoo, conditioner and mousse)! That's two sets. That's two winners!

*How to win:
1. Winners will be randomly picked by me. Please don't contest the results. I have different qualifications depending on my mood!
2. Winners must have a Philippine address since shipping outside the country is expensive.
3. Please comment in this format: your answer, the collection you want (just one!), your first name, city where you're from, and email address.
4. Please do not put your full name and delivery address in the comment box since this blog is not secure. If you put your personal info, I will not be responsible for any identity theft and other problems that may arise from your actions.
5. I will announce the winner in a blog entry on November 1. I will also publish all entries then.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Coffee please!

I walk to work now. Our office used to be housed in the basement of Robinsons Galleria, my second favorite mall (the first being Power Plant), so I loved going to work because it was literally going to the mall every day! We got really spoiled with the shopping, the easy pick-up of groceries, the meetings at coffee shops...

But now our new office is in a real office building (with huge windows and slow-speed elevators!) so life has been a lot more serious. Plus, it’s a very new building so there are no shops open yet. We’re forced to bring packed lunch. Well, my hubby and I eat lunch at home practically every day, and like I said, we walk to and from work plus I don't really shop anymore so there’s a ton of money we save. I actually like this new arrangement. But please, someone, anyone, please open a few coffee franchises in Robinsons Cybergate Tower 3 soon before all the editors die of caffeine withdrawal!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Blogs I love: Their outfits rock!

Okay, today is a sloooow Sunday and I'm just spending the afternoon reading up on my favorite blogs. I follow a ton of blogs. Most I discovered through their comments on my blog, a lot I just found through Entrecard (I love Entrecard!), and a few I landed on through links upon links upon links. So you can imagine how my husband complains about the time I spend on blogging!

Anyway, I'd like to invite you to check out five blogs that I love. Yes, just five (I'll blog about the rest in installments!) and they're all about dressing up! I am so in love with these girls because they really know how to put together a smokin' outfit!

I love her blog title. Because that's me! When I was younger, I got a lot of comments for being a snob. Actually, I just couldn't see and recognize anyone because I'm very myopic. Once I got glasses and contacts however, I've become the friendliest person on earth! Back to the blog... I love Karen's wittiness--her thoughts, the way she writes, the way she puts clothes together, how she finds the most fabulous vintage photos, and even how she puts on eye makeup!

I'm particularly enchanted with Wendy because I read about her first in Marie Claire before I found her blog. Wendy is a jewelry designer so her blog is more about what inspires her to design, all of which are very interesting whether they're pop or historical figures or dear friends. Oh, and her fashion choices--while sometimes outrageous--are always bold and beautiful. And she's the only one I've seen who can do that horrible rolled-up jeans with heels trend and still look gorgeous!

This girl has got to have one of the prettiest faces I've ever seen. And when she dresses up--it doesn't matter if it's a shirt or a dress--she still looks absolutely divine. What's great about her is she's not just pretty on the outside; her thoughts are really interesting, too. This is one sensitive soul and her posts are always raw and intimate and out there.

Okay, with a blog title like that, you just know she's wild and wacky and fun! Honestly, I can never bring myself to wear what this funky girl wears but I do admire her spunk and style! And she always poses against an orange wall, which I assume belongs to her house. An orange wall! I've always wanted an orange wall! And a fuschia! And a neon green! But because I'm terribly boring, I can't. Well, my house has yellow walls and a Tiffany blue one, and a coffee-and-cream combo, and a Chinese lacquer box-red one. So... I'm getting there, Annie! Oh, and I haven't done the bleach-shirt job yet!

Well, I already blogged about Jane and her mom and her sister before so you know how I love love Sea of Shoes. The shoes are out-of-this-world fabulous. The clothes are far out fantastic. And the girls are just utterly glam. Sigh!

To these blog authors, thank you for inspiring me. Please keep on dressing up and blogging!

*images from their blogs, used without permission. Ooops! Please click on the pics to be directed to their blogs. Thanks!

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm thinking of an easy way to make more money

This blog has been such a blessing since I've met tons of new people. Recently, however, I've been thinking that aside from earning great friends, I'd also like to earn money! Again. Last year, I had an online shop that sold fashion and beauty products. That little venture earned me quite a lot of money. Enough money to buy really nice furniture for my new house! But I got lazy with inventory. And there are some customers that you just can't satisfy whatever you do! So I put that business on hold. But I think I'll start that again soon because the holidays are coming up and I need shopping money!

Anyway, I've been studying how to teach from home. My first job was for a website that taught Koreans English. Then for my second job, I was a preschool teacher. So I do have experience teaching. It's not easy but I enjoyed it. Now that I'm an editor, I was thinking I can teach freelance writing online. I'll take a refresher course on how to teach, of course, and then all I need is a white board, a few books, and paper!

I've been looking it up and I found this great article on why you should have a home based business.

The site lists certain advantages of having a home-based business:
1. offers an amazing level of autonomy
2. the initial investment required is typically much lower than a traditional franchise
3. has very few overhead expenses
4. a number of work at home franchise opportunities require a part-time commitment to be successful
5. provides franchisees with a great deal of flexibility in their schedules and often affords them more time to spend with their families.

Yeah, I think I can do this online teaching business! How about you? What do you do to earn extra cash?

Monday, October 13, 2008

A candle to help me pray

Since Mama always began and ended her day by praying for everyone in her world (and I guess, she prayed for the entire world, too), I feel a little unsafe and unprotected now that she's gone. Her prayer of love and protection always made me feel safe. Sometimes I call her up and ask, "Mama, did you pray for me today? I'm not having a good day!" Yeah, I can be so rude. And she'd assure me that she did but so that I'd feel better, we'd pray over the phone anyway. Then I truly would feel better.

Well, now no one's praying for me so I'm doing the praying. It's hard if it isn't part of your habit to pray for people. I usually pray for just me and Vince. This morning as I was praying in our bedroom, I was mixing up names and forgetting names and just basically getting confused. Maybe because I never start my day with a prayer so I'm not used to concentrating so hard first thing. I'll have to list names down!

The other day, Kate dragged me with her to Baclaran church. I'm not Catholic but it's still a place of worship so I prayed with her. At the back of the church is a large room filled with candles. In here, people light as many candles as they wish to pray. I got five candles and prayed for these:
(1) for my marriage to be strong and be a shining example of true commitment and love,
(2) that my family be truly reconciled and finally be a beacon of love and Christ's victory to others,
(3) for God to bless the friends and family who have been such a comfort to me and my family in these dark days,
(4) I thanked God for our jobs which helped pay for Mama's sudden passing, and I asked that we will always be wise and compassionate managers to our staff and be good examples of leadership,
(5) and then I prayed for everyone in that room of candles because I saw that they desperately needed Him, perhaps even more than I did at that moment.

I found that candles can be very calming. And since there's a flame I can focus on, I prayed better. I'll be buying candles this weekend. Till then, believe it or not, I found this nice website that helped me pray. It's called Light a Candle. I thought it would be cheesy but it proved to be very calming. And then as I clicked on the other candles, I realized I'm not the only one who needs help. Millions of people around the world are in worse situations. And so my list of names just got longer.

I do always remember this scene from Dawson's Creek (yeah, all my life is so pop culture). Jen's grandfather was dying and her grandmother was praying really hard. Jen got angry and told her grandma, "How can you have so much faith in prayer? Just because you pray doesn't mean you can change God." And grandma replied, "Prayer doesn't change God; it changes me."

Mama's death is still very painful and of course it is useless to pray for her to come back or for me to have another chance to show her my love. But I trust in God's perfect plan. He wanted Mama home but He will not leave us alone. He will be there for me and my family and He is already working in our lives because Mama's death was for a reason. I just need to pray that we will be patient enough and strong enough and wise enough to see His plan moving powerfully in us.

*image from

Thursday, October 09, 2008

I'm famous!

Part of my job as a magazine editor is to go promote the title. So we had huge billboards made along the Luzon expressways...

... and another electronic one plastered downtown...

... some posters were sent to some little towns and I don't understand why these boys are so enamored with a gossip rag...

... maybe, they wanted to see if we featured stars like Victoria Beckham, who, by the way, talks about her favorite editor here...

... finally, Vogue couldn't resist making me their cover girl!

Oh, but I can be infamous, too! Some paranoid people have been putting up these posters and they are seriously damaging my rep!

Hahahahaha! I'm super loving PhotoFunia. The effects are amazing! Thanks to Colors Changing Hue for the link. I had so much fun. It's like the wigs again since I get to play. Mama would've had a big giggle over the pics =D

UPDATE: Guys, these photos are a joke. I got more than a few text messages on both phones asking where exactly on the expressways those billboards are. Please click on the PhotoFunia link above so you, too, can have some fun. I repeat: The photos are FAKE!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Retail therapy (this time for eyeglasses!) is always a good thing

Okay, back to regular programming!

I promised myself I was going to spend more time with my family. So just this Sunday, when my sister Jacqui had to go to Divisoria to buy some props and costumes for her thesis play (she's taking Theater Arts), I tagged along. We girls figured there's nothing like shopping to distract us from our despondent mood. Plus, Mama loved to shop second-hand and inexpensive places so we felt like shopping would be like being with her. I also know about Divisoria's incredibly cheap prices but I've never actually been there (just once , and it was very very briefly). Well, let me just say everything was absolutely dirt cheap and everything was cheap and dirty! Sigh...

Anyway, part of Jacqui's costume included eyeglasses. If you remember my post on the funny yearbook photos (scroll way down for a giggle), I said that cat's eye frames look good on me and made me think about resting my eyes from my contacts and just wearing glasses again. And I found a really cute pair of eyeglasses there. It cost me PHP 150 or a mere USD 3.20! Well, the cheap frames were a bargain and I love how they make me look very severe and serious! However, everyone I told about my find warned me that as soon as I bring it to the optometrist for the prescription lenses, the plastic frames are sure to break. Hmmm...

So I turned to my online shopping obsession--the solution for my can't-find-anything-here dilemma. My search led me to Zenni Optical, a website that sells really cool eyeglasses. I also checked if they can be trusted and according to Fox News and consumer advocate program Clark Howard Show, Zenni's pretty okay! They have a wide variety of frames and these are my favorites:

This pair looks very vintage, with that cat's eye thing going.
I like the I'm-so-serious vibe it gives, too.

This one is most similar to the one I bought from Divisoria
and it's in purple!That's my Mama's favorite color, by the way.

I like this one because it's colorless and so it will match
most things in my closet.

Then I just like this tortoiseshell one for sheer drama.

Best thing is they're all just USD 8 each. So still very inexpensive but the durability is guaranteed. Sigh, with all the economic troubles these days, we really have to be more careful with what we buy!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thank you!

"Man's mortality remains a gift which goes to the very heart of his being and points his will in the right direction... From a Christian perspective, the 'ultimate blessing' of the gift of death was not the extinction of life but, paradoxically, the fullness of life... Life, like death, demands the surrender of all."
J.R.R. Tolkien

Mama was buried yesterday. It was a happy send off! The past few days have been filled with singing and laughter. Tears, too, of course. It feels so strange to have her gone. But as Christians, we firmly believe that she is now in heaven with her Lord Jesus, so there is a happiness we feel for her soul and a sadness only because we miss her so.

About a thousand people paid their last respects to Mama. That's a rough estimate. People kept pouring into the chapel throughout all hours of the day. Each one had a lovely story to tell about Mama. There was even a woman that Mama just met two weeks ago (Mama asked to share a table at a restaurant) and she came because she said she wanted to tell us how absolutely blessed she was when she met Mama. Strangers kept telling me that they met Mama briefly at a mall or a lobby somewhere and how her smile was unforgettable and how Mama cheered them up, telling them, "I'll pray for you." I am so flabbergasted at how Mama affected people!

We were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Because my Mama loved music, people got up to sing, play musical instruments, and dance! It was amazing. It was like a four-day concert of the very best musical talents. A choir filled the room with their voices. My younger brother wrote her a song, which got everyone crying. Papa's own song for Mama had everyone in tears, too (yeah, that just killed everybody). But Mama would not have wanted us to be sad so the tears had to be wiped away and everyone was encouraged to sing and sing. It was such a celebration of Mama's life. She would have been absolutely thrilled!

She also looked fantastic. I kid you not. Someone said, "She's the best looking dead person I've ever seen!" Even my makeup-artist friend took one look at her and said, "She looks flawless!" People who saw her kept exclaiming, "She is so beautiful!" I know it sounds disrespectful but it's true--Mama looked so lovely, it was unsettling. She looked like she was just sleeping and having a very good dream, too. We all kept staring at her in disbelief. In fact, my little niece kept knocking on the glass to wake her up. Poor thing... Indeed, we all are convinced she died happy and at peace and she must've seen God just before she died because her face was so radiant in death.

The past few days have been a blessing truly. We feel a sadness of course but we also feel peaceful and filled with joy. The love people have shown Mama and our family overwhelms us so. She gave her life fully to Christ, her family, her friends, even to complete strangers. She surrendered her all. She never held back! And now, in death, life rewarded her just as passionately. May we all live our lives as fully as she did.