Thursday, August 27, 2009

August, September, October... and why magazine staff are confused when it comes to months

August is almost over and if you haven't done so already, please grab a copy of OK!'s August issue--if you can still find a copy! We dedicated the entire issue to Hollywood's cutest babies and so far, it's been a hit. My personal favorites are Suri Cruise and Harlow Richie Madden--such adorable cuties, so animated and present and alive! Vince also likes Suri. He and I want a little girl like Suri.

Meanwhile, while I'm promoting the August issue to you, my staff and I think it's already another month--as I type, we're working to finish the last few pages of the October issue. While everyone's talking about rain fashion here, the OK! staff is all about warm clothes for the -ber months and we're already lining up gift-giving ideas for Christmas. This is why I do my Christmas shopping in September and have all my gifts wrapped by October because I think it's December!

While all that chaos is happening, our September issue is now available and it looks oh so good!!! It has our annual Hollywood's Most Beautiful List and--surprise!--Robert Pattinson is this year's easiest on the eyes. I'll have to re-read this issue, though. Because we made it in July and my head is filled with October pages and plans for November-December, I don't remember September, which makes it tricky for me to promote it when I'm on my radio/TV tours! Did I make sense?!

I do want you to just take away one thing from all that confusion above--pleeeeeeease get a copy of OK!'s September issue! Not only does it feature 20 stunning pages of this year's hottest stars, it's also bursting at the seams with celebrity beauty secrets, explores the sexy ten-year marriage of Posh and Becks... and, well, you'll have to grab the issue to find out more about the issue's other treats! Hope you get a copy this weekend!

Meanwhile, here are the things I'm going to do this weekend:1. Sink into InStyle's September issue. It's thick again! Yey! The past few issues have been alarmingly thin, making me fear that my favorite magazine will suffer the same fate as the other magazines that were killed this year.
2. Check out Pluey's fab promo at the Rockwell Urban Bazaar. It's been awfully rainy; my Rain Skimmers aren't enough. Must buy boots! Then I just might win an extra 6 pairs!3. Add more products to my Help Mio Fight Cancer campaign. I've already added some new products donated by my fellow editors. As I type, we've already raised PHP 14,000++! Thank you! But we need to raise more so I hope you drop by my beauty blog and shop, shop, shop!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stuff's sooo adorable!

My friend Anna Go of Rustan's just told me the cutest news: Stuff at Rustan's is now available! Stuff is all things quirky, fun and crazy. I'm delighted just looking at Stuff's stuff. And since I'm already starting to shop for my Christmas gifts (it's never too early, folks!), I'm over the moon because I have a new place to buy (and request!) gifts!

These lip pots disguised as pastries sure look yummy!

I love how these fruity key rings bloom
into nylon shopping bags!

Clever clock and bulletin board! Now if only it had a wabbit...

This is supposed to be a huge clock similar to mine
(but I like mine better!)

Remind yourself with this golden ribbon ring.

Delicate necklaces with sweet messages inside!

Love, love, love them! There are more Stuff stuff ranging from silly shower caps and pencil holders to funkily designed socks and jewelry! Stuff by Rustan's is available at the Young Adults Section at all Rustan's Department Stores. Drop by soonest!

P.S. If you're in the mood for beauty products, do check my beauty blog. I'm selling beauty loot to raise funds for a little boy's chemotherapy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Seal of approval

I got this from WendyB's fantabulous fashion blog, Wendy Brandes Jewelry. I plan to follow in her footsteps--she used to work for CNN and and now she's a jewelry designer and woman extraordinaire! Someday, I'll be just like that!
Now, this award is funny--WendyB made it out of guilt (haha) for all the people who gave her awards or tagged her and she forgot to thank them or pass the awards/tags along. Since I tagged her twice and may have given her an award, too, I grabbed and claimed this Seal of Approval! I know WendyB will approve.

Kae of Accidentally inLOVE also told me that she nominated my blog for Nuffnang's Asian Bloggers awards. Wow, thanks! I hardly qualify, though--this blog is not well designed, not influential and everything else Nuffnang requires an award-winning blog to be! But super duper thanks, Kae! And happy birthday!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mio update!

I asked my readers to pray for little Mio who is suffering leukemia. And I'm happy to report that many of you have not only opened your hearts but also your wallets! In the 3 days since I asked for your help, we've raised PHP 8,000! Someone in faraway New York sent dollars and some bought beauty products (shop here), the proceeds of which will all go to Mio's chemotherapy.

Thank you! I've always believed in the goodness of man and the kindness of strangers and I'm grateful to you for affirming this.

Anyway, I'll be posting more products on my beauty blog this week as we need to raise more funds. If you wish to donate, you can send to my PayPal email address: You can also deposit your gifts to this account: Charisse F. Espinar, BDO-SM City, Savings Acct # 0670 385 018. Please address checks to Charisse Espinar.

God bless you for your generosity!

Weekend report

Looooooong weekend! I spent it doing inventory of beauty products to sell for Mio's leukemia treatment. I've added more stuff on my beauty blog so please check that out and do buy! It's for a good cause.

The weekend was also spent finishing the trilogy His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. Well, that was an interesting read. I won't say a lot about it except to say that I enjoyed it very much despite these:
1. I'm a fundamentalist Christian so reading a work that glorifies a second rebellion against God was a bit disturbing.
2. While the storytelling was fantastic, I really don't like it when the message is spelled out for you--this patronizes the reader: "If you didn't get it yet, this is what I'm saying!" Towards the end of the last book, The Amber Spyglass, the author begins to editorialize and starts really hammering home his message. Like, SHOUTING it. That's not a very good thing to do. If you've written it well, there's no need for the preaching. The writer has to trust that his reader got his message.

Anyway, aside from that technical glitch, the books were amazing. But I'm warning you now that if you're from a Judeo-Christian background, you may not like the trilogy. Its main message is the destruction of the Almighty God. I won't go into a theological discussion here. But I did tell God at my bedtime prayer, "Father, I'm thankful that I live in a universe that has You as its Sovereign Lord because though life isn't perfect, I feel loved by You. And that's just perfect."

Now two books in two days meant hardly any sleep so when Vince and I went to Power Plant Mall and had lunch at new Japanese burger joint Sango, I just had to have a Nespresso. Aside from coffee, I had a cheeseburger, Vince had a chili burger and fries, but oh these were different burgers and fries! Super different from all the burgers I've had in my life--sweet and spicy and oh just great! Will most definitely eat there again!

Sango's fries are drowned in a cheesy meat sauce!

After lunch, shop shop shop. This was Vince's shopping day. He was looking for saddle soap, PS3 games, and a birthday gift for his brother. He also wanted some graphic novels by Filipino authors. So he got Zsa Zsa Zaturnah by our colleague Carlo Vergara and The Mythology Class by Arnold Arre, his friend's hubby. I bought new books, too: First Love, an anthology edited by my good friend Faye Ilogon and I Choose To Be Free by Jack Philip, a book on freedom in Christianity--yes, this latter one in reaction to Mr. Pullman's work.

Then we watched Up. Oh, I just ruined my makeup with this movie because I cried and laughed so much! No spoilers, don't worry. I won't explain what made me cry but it was beautiful and funny and heartwarming and... I just had to love Vince extra after watching this movie and I made sure to whisper a grateful prayer to God for giving me this man and the profound love we share. And, boy, do I want a talking dog!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Help Mio fight cancer

My dear readers,

I am storming the gates of heaven for a little boy I hardly know. His name is Jose Emilio, or Mio, he is 5 years old and he is fighting for his life.

I know his mother, Jasmine Mendiola. We used to work together--she's the former fashion editor of Total Girl and she's a makeup artist so we've been at a couple of shoots in the past.

Jasmine is a fighter, very tough and very strong. I only hope her beautiful child inherited some of her strength because he's going to need it in his fight against leukemia. Mio has acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), a cancer of the white blood cells. These cells fight infections. When a person has ALL, his body has a harder time fighting infections.How does one even explain to a five-year-old kid that his body has rebelled against him? The diagnosis was made just this week so we are all just reeling from the shock and praying, praying, praying. Jasmine has started a blog--it's very raw and emotional and reading it is heartbreaking. I can't even imagine what she is going through as she writes:

"He knows he’s sick and yet he remains thankful to God in our evening prayer for the toys he receives, for the nurses and the medicine that will help his 'owie' go away. I have yet to give him the world I promised him.

I think you’ll all agree when I say that Mio deserves this army. His childhood is the war I wage. I’ve always thought I had forever with my little boy and I used to just want it to pass us by so he can be a grown man, the kind who is everything good, smart, healthy and handsome.

I’ll have to put that on hold and fight this battle NOW...
I have nothing but your love and support although I hate being over-bearing. But like any parent, I will beg, borrow or steal. But we are good people with kind hearts. I can only ask for you to rally the gates of heaven so my son—and all the other children in the world unjustly suffering this illness to have a chance at a normal and yes, dramatic life."

At this point, we all don't know how to make this mother's pain go away so I will very humbly ask my readers to help Mio fight his leukemia by donating whatever amount you can to help finance his chemotherapy. We will appreciate anything you can give at all!
If you wish to contact Jasmine, please visit her blog, The Enemy in Mio's Body. And please keep Mio in your prayers. We need those most of all. Thank you!

DONATION UPDATE: Gosh, the PayPal donate button isn't working. Sorry! (Thanks, Rowie for telling me about that!) While I try to figure out how that works, the PayPal email address to send your donation to is I'll coordinate with Jasmine on how we can make donating easier--I know some of you prefer G-Cash or bank transfers. Again, thank you! Please spread the word!

ANOTHER UPDATE: I'm selling beauty products to raise money for Mio's treatment. Go to my beauty blog (click here) and please shop! Thank you!

all photos from Jasmine's Facebook account

Pest control!

First of all, I'm not angry anymore. After listening to me rant and rave like a lunatic last Tuesday night, my husband wryly told me, "Well, if you handle trash, expect your hands to get dirty."

Indeed. So I won't complain anymore even if I am now a lot poorer because I just paid for some celebrity's new clothes. The company will reimburse the cost so I'm not too upset except that I'll have to watch my spending until the check comes!

On to better news, I will happily share what's making me really excited today:It's an ant killer! It's a poisonous substance that attracts the little critters. It doesn't kill them right away. Instead, it's more insidious, allowing the ants to bring the substance back to the nest and feed the queen ant and larvae ants with the poison. It's fascinating to watch... and a bit horrifying, too, as the ants come out full force to devour the poison. So you'll have to replenish with a drop or two because the ants get really greedy. Then after a few days, no more ants! There are absolutely no ants in the house now!!!This is such a fantastic find! Now if someone can just make a batch of this stuff for that celebrity pest... I kid, I kid!

Terro Ant Killer is available at Handyman for just PHP 149.75.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stress! Star-induced stress!

Wow, what an awful day. Had a shoot with a celebrity today. Celeb's manager asked that we give the entire outfit. When we said no, manager got really angry.

I wasn't there because I was attending a very important advertiser's event but I got so upset because the manager was treating my staff with so much disrespect. Some people take advantage of the fact that the boss isn't around by bullying the staff, and they usually get away with it because the staff gets cowed into submission.

I'm so angry. And I'm really ugly--in every sense of the word--when I'm angry. I just can't believe how some people feel they're entitled. And the celeb brings home millions of dollars (that should be a clue to you) so if celeb and company really wanted the outfit, why don't they just buy it? What's PHP 23,000++ to them?

You know what makes me feel worse? I feel like I betrayed my team by not being there to protect them from these ravenous wolves. I'm angry because my staff were helpless and being taken advantage of and I wasn't there to help them.

In the end, I told Lana to just give them what they want. I don't like fighting over money--it's bad form and utterly tasteless.

Oh, and as long as we were spending money on the star, I guess we should have gotten the star new underwear, too. The star's undies were in terrible shape. Shame.

The star has been revealed as nothing but a fool.

I'm going to sleep this off now. Comments turned off for this post as I don't want anyone posting their guesses--right or wrong, I won't be able to say! All I can say is tomorrow will be a better day. Good night, folkszzzzz...

Monday, August 17, 2009

My husband gives the bestest gifts

I just want to share my favorite new thing. Well, it's not so new since Vince bought it for me soon after our second wedding anniversary. But I just had to share because it's super hotness!

I said I wanted a pink netbook, right? Then I ended up buying a little black beauty a few months ago:
Me and my HP Mini when it was fresh from the box

Well, with my darling baby needing protection, I needed a laptop case. I looked and looked and everything was either too big or too small (the HP Mini's screen is wider than most netbooks). And must all laptop sleeves look so horrid? So as Vince and I wandered into a luggage store, this little cutie called to me.
Isn't she pretty? It's a Samsonite Black Label Signat Mini Attache. It's pink. I'm sooo happy! Vince thinks it's so retro cool. And it actually is retro--this is a re-issue of the 1965 design. I learned that from the little leather label here (sorry, my photos are terrible!):
Because it's Samsonite, we didn't think we could afford it. The original price was PHP 11,390 (USD 238) but--wonder of wonders, it was on sale! It was sold for a huge discount--Vince got this pretty pink sweetheart for just PHP 3,970 (USD 83). Unbelievable. Sold!

Ah! Look at that! It's like it was made for my HP Mini! And it has a little compartment for the charger and pockets for my USB sticks and little odds-and-ends. Love it! Thanks, Vince!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another reason to love the rain

Some of you know I love the rain. Some of you know I love shoes. And all of you know I love Vince! Now I'll tell you a little love story.

On a perfect rainy September day ten years ago, Vince took me to Enchanted Kingdom. I had never gone there before and, because of the rain, it was nearly deserted. There were no lines for the rides and we spent the entire day running through the puddles, kissing under the rain, getting soaked on the roller coaster, riding the ferris wheel and thrilled at the prospect of getting hit by lightning. We were young and we felt immortal. It was one of the best days of our life. I paid for it dearly however: I came down with a terrible case of pneumonia and, worse!, my pretty ballet shoes were ruined beyond repair. I never went splashing in the rain since.

Then this pair of cuties arrived for me:This baby is called Rain Skimmers and it's brought in by the same lovely ladies who introduced Plueys here (thanks, Em!!!). The shoes are made of lightweight matte rubber and lined inside with comfy cotton in adorable prints. I love it!!! Mine is the Nola style--a subdued and elegant blue. It's comfortable and simple and stylish. And because it's rubber, I can walk through wet streets, even wade in CCP's fountain perhaps--yes, even with the pond aerators on!--and not worry about ruining these shoes! Just look at it--that's serious rubber, girls.There are three other styles--Audrey (white polka dots on black), Kelly (olive) and Vicki (multi-colored dots). Each pair is PHP 1,450 and comes with a free pair of heel protectors worth PHP 200, but again they throw this in for free! And did I mention how utterly comfy it is? Now I'm singin' and dancin' once again!

Be fashionable this rainy season! Get your own pair of Plueys boots or Rain Skimmers flats here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My online money making experience

Since my Belle de Jour talk on earning money online, I've been getting a lot of questions about how I make money with my online activities. To answer your questions, I'm writing this post.

(That's a bad photo, I know, but it's the only one which proves that I really did give a serious talk--on money no less!

I earn money through three ways: (1) I have an eBay shop, (2) I'm a member of a paid blogging network, and (3) I have ads placed in my two blogs.

(1) Selling on eBay is very easy. While a ton of girls use Multiply as their online shop platform, I find it easier and safer to sell on eBay. First, because there's a feedback system so I have a better idea of who my buyers are and, second, the tools are already there so uploading photos and item descriptions, answering questions, sending invoices, etc. are a piece of cake.

my eBay shop

I highly suggest that if you have a lot of unnecessary stuff at home like clothes that don't fit anymore or if you like making lovely items like gift cards or cloth bags, then sell, sell, sell! You'll be amazed at how much money you can earn from your junk/hobby!

(2) Another way to make money online is to join paid-blogging networks that give you assignments from advertisers. Each post you write for them is a paid post--you are literally writing for money. Some networks ask you to specifically promote or review their product/service. Others just give you a phrase that links to their clients' website.

This latter is my favorite and this is what the network I  belong to is all about. I like it because the advertising is not so obvious and the assignment challenges me to think creatively. For example, how am I going to insert "Pleasanton motorcycle accident attorney" in my blog post? As you can see, it's not always easy!

Because of my paid blogging work, I've been able to buy the coolest film nerd shirts, necklaces, shoes to sell on my eBay shop, and--for my PS3 addict husband--this super rare Sackboy doll that is only available in the UK!

Vince, a huge fan of Little Big Planet, loves his Sackboy.
That toy cost me GBP 60 (PHP 4,750)! But just look
at his smile--so worth it. Thanks, PayU2Blog!

(3) I also have ads placed on my blogs but I'm not earning much from them. They're from Google Adsense and Nuffnang. I've heard of people earning USD 100 a day (!!!) with just the ad revenues on their blogs. How do they do that???

I'm very aware that my online money making experience is not that impressive. I'm a newbie--just started in November last year because, as my credit card was stolen, I was desperate to make money. And my friend Jennie of Marriage and Beyond has been so encouraging and helpful because she earns super duper lots from her blogs.

Gorgeous blogger Jennie and me

So it's funny that Belle de Jour actually asked me to tell the BDJ girls how to make money since they ended up teaching me instead! If you have any advice at all, please help--how do you earn from your blogs? Because, as much as I love my magazine, I'd really like to start working from home one day!

Do check out my beauty blog!

I've not posted on Beauty For A Living for a bit but do go there now--I've got some new beauty news!

And leave me a comment there (not here!) on what you want for my next beauty giveaway. My cabinets are getting crowded again. I need to unload the stuff! You never know if I'd send you (yes, you!) beauty products. When I read that Jennie of Kikay Corner loved Revlon makeup, I sent her some items and she's really happy. I also read that Laura of A Daisy Chain Dream wanted some MAC Hello Kitty makeup and I sent her stuff--yes, all the way to Bristol, UK!

Let me make you happy, too! Leave a comment in Beauty For A Living on what you want and if I have it, I'll send it over! Oh, wouldn't it be fun if I could just display all my stuff and you can scan the ones you like with a Honeywell Barcode Scanner like they do at bridal registries in the States and then I'll deliver them to your home? It would be much simpler. Anyway, wish away--no strings attached. You'll be doing me a favor actually since Vince doesn't like my mess! Head on over to my beauty blog now...

Friday, August 07, 2009

Shop, shop, shop! Eat, eat, eat!

Because I was sick for a week, I was stuck at home and got a really bad case of cabin fever (that's what happens when you're going crazy being indoors for an extended period). After cleaning the house and taking my girls shopping, Vince and I went to Glorietta to shop, shop, shop!

We had a list: get Mom a birthday gift, home fragrance oils, video games and rabbit food. In this country, there are only three kinds of pets: dogs, cats and fish. So while I've come to expect nothing but dog/cat/fish food in pet stores, I really really hate it when shops that claim they're fully stocked with pet supplies aren't!!! My poor bunnies have been munching on veggies and hay for the last two weeks. That's okay but they get filled up more and are happier with pellets. Calling Robinsons and Rustan's Supermarkets--please restock on rabbit pellets!

Okay, inhaling, exhaling... I'm calm now. So! Back to Glorietta. First things first: Feed Frances! I lost weight due to last week's incarceration. And now that I had my taste buds back, I was ravenous. Vince and I went to Italianni's where we had a big plate of pasta and a big slab of steak with creamy mashed potatoes and buttery vegetables on the side. Yum! (He's been feeding me a lot since, too, so now I'm back to my fighting form again and struggling to fit into my skinny jeans!)After that heavy lunch, we got Mom a nice gift, which was hard to do because what do you give a woman you love so much and already has everything? I hope she likes our surprise! Vince got me a surprise, too--he got me this lovely Liz Claiborne wallet:I've been using a plain pink wallet since my red one got stolen last year. The pink one's still okay but hubby thinks I'm ready for a grown-up wallet already. Yey! Oh, the picture does it no justice. It's very very pretty and feminine, with tons of pockets inside. Love it! (That's my old teddy bear, by the way.)

Vince was a happy camper, too, when he got two PS3 games--Bioshock and Ghostbusters. He's like a little boy now playing away in the living room while I'm here in the bedroom blogging and watching E! News. I'm also basking in the citrusy scent of my house. I stocked up on The Body Shop's fragrance oils. My favorites are the citrus and green tea scents. I tried white musk (too powdery) and lavender (too spa-y), too. Vince also persuaded me to get this new oil burner since he didn't like my plain clay pot.So we had a very happy weekend! Oh, did we find rabbit pellets? No. My poor bunnies!