Monday, February 28, 2011

7 things I'm loving right this minute

1. My nail polish! It's Glitzerland from O.P.I. It's a very fine crushed gold that looks great against my skin and with my topaz ring!

2. The funny Garnier video for the roll-on eye brightener and de-puffer. Only because I suffer from terrible dark circles so this actually is something I can very well relate to! (Crickette, I finally sent you this! Tell me how it goes!)

Goodies and Sweets Chocolate Cake with Caramel Sauce
3.'s Top 10 chocolate cakes. I just had that cake in the photo actually. It is love! Guys, if the girl you're trying to win is sick of getting fancy chocolates from you, try giving her cake instead! It's casual, almost friendly, and yet it's still chocolate. And if she still doesn't give you her sweet yes, then take comfort in the fact that this luscious cake is fattening! For more unusual chocolate gifts, go check out Sharri's Berries Facebook page for ideas.

4. The Mogu Mogu introduction. It's so... strange! It's almost profound! "Fruit Juice. Gotta Chew!!" What does it mean?!?

5. The Sony VAIO S. Because it's pink! Period. For more substantial reasons, check out what the Third World Nerd had to say about the new VAIOs. Seriously makes me want to buy this instead of a Mac! (Bad hair day, I know. But just lookit my smile!)

6. Rustan's Makati's red carpeted entrance. I love Power Plant but no mall makes me feel like a VIP quite like Rustan's Makati does!

7. Vito trying to remove his Thudguard helmet while eating carrots I steamed, mashed, sieved myself. But I love him every minute!

Friday, February 25, 2011

There goes my New Year's fitness resolution!

And I so wanted to have Angel Aquino's lean physique!
I quit Barre3. It was more expensive than I bargained for. An unlimited monthly membership costs P5,500. It's worth it if you go to class at least three times a week since that would be P500 a class, even less if you go more often, which had been my plan. I totally did not know that January and February were months that were super busy and stressful and that I would be sick for an entire month, resulting to me attending just 6 classes.

I also didn't account for the cab fare. To and fro Power Plant is P120. So add P120 to each scheduled class. Now I also didn't realize I'd... shop!!!! Power Plant is the deadliest mall for Vince and me. We never ever leave that place without buying anything. So with each Barre3 class, I bought a dress at Mango and Zara. Needless to say, I have overspent.

So I did not renew my membership. Sad. I really liked Barre3. It was absolute torture in the beginning but I really felt my body get stronger with each class. I highly recommend it for building strength, flexibility and stamina. For quick weight loss, always best to put on your running shoes and chase the wind!

Anyway, I haven't given up on my fitness resolution yet. Good Housekeeping editor Tisha Angluben and stylist Sidney Yap told me that there's a Core Kinesis class just across my apartment! Yes, folks, it's not in a mall! And PR guru Frank Briones invited me to try Hollywood's latest fitness program Plana Forma for free. Well, well, there is hope yet for this baby flab around my tummy! Wish me luck!

Glad I saw the Cambridge Satchel at schu first!

I spent a few sleepless nights obsessing over the yellow Cambridge Satchel a few weeks ago. Vince ended my agony and told me he'll buy me one for Valentine's Day! Hooray! So off we traipsed to Chocolate schubar at Power Plant and committed by finally scratching the credit card. I'm just waiting for my bag to arrive next month! EQ is being mightily tested!

Now, as I was waiting, someone told me that Kate Spade's SS '11 campaign stars the ethereal Bryce Dallas Howard and leather bags that are soooo similar to the Cambridge satchel. Now I love Kate Spade. I really really do. So imagine my anguish when I saw the ad in this month's InStyle:

Sleepless I was yet again! Look at how gorgeous these are!

And then I saw that the Kate Spade Essex Scout is smaller by an inch and yet P11,000++ more expensive!!! Whew! The Cambridge Satchel is just P5,799 and it's very very British and very very cool. 

You know what the best sleep aid is? Knowing you made the right choice--whether it's as serious as choosing your life partner or as silly as choosing a bag! I'm sooo happy I chose the Cambridge Satchel. Can't wait can't wait!

Want your own? To order, go to schu's Facebook page.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Blog News: My likes today!

What is behind this door?
One of my blog resolutions is to talk about a blog I super like. Today, you have to check out Karotitay's blog. The latest post, "Do you believe in MOOMOO?" scared the shit out of me! Karrots, na-stress ang beauty ko!

Of course you also have to update yourself with these:
Beauty For A Living - I talk about how Avon is fighting to end violence against women
Topaz Mommy - I wrote my hubby a love post! Naks!
Third World Nerd - The hubby's last post talked about a tech tragedy!!! But, because he's such a genius, he saved us.

Click! Click! And happy weekend, y'all!

Taylor Swift ultimate fan guide!!!

She's coming to Manila tonight! And I'm not watching her concert!!! Kids, that's what having a baby in your life means. So I have to content myself with this:

It's a really nice magazine, by the way. Very sweet and fairy tale-ish and girly. I'm also very proud because my "kids" Lana, Joanna and Elaine created this magazine! They made a really cool mag and I feel very warm and fuzzy because my girls are so fantastic!  Yes, that's how a boss feels when the people she's mentored for so long do a GREAT JOB. I'm so lucky that way!

If you love Taylor Swift, do grab a copy. It's P150 and it's available at your favorite newsstand, bookstore, supermarket and magazine shop.

This made my morning

I'm so glad kids today have Lady Gaga's empowering anthem to sing and believe in. We all need to know that we're beautiful just the way we are. Oops, that's a different song!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

You can hear them roar

There's only one thing that's happening on April--the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. So Elaine, my magazine's associate features editor, who's been doing research, shared with us the video of Diana's long march down that aisle so many years ago. Confession: I've never actually watched this most famous wedding before! It took my breath away.

Did you hear the people roar? Did you hear the trill and bellow of the trumpets? I got goosebumps honestly. I imagine a saint's arrival at heaven to be greeted like that, with applause and trumpets.

In her voluminous dress, Diana still looked very elegant and beautiful, even brave. Well, every person about to get married has to be brave!

My own wedding was very simple. So was Vito's baptism. Vince and I aren't the pomp-and-pageantry type. We like to dress up and eat well, but we don't like programs or dance numbers or long speeches or giveaways and stuff like that. For a lot of people, events are a big show (and there's nothing wrong with that!) but for Vince and me, our events are very private and quiet.

But watching Diana's wedding, I can't help but feel that weddings should indeed be like that--a spectacular show! I certainly now wish my wedding march had been accompanied by such fanfare! Drums and trumpets and the thunderous roar of thousands of happy people! Hear! Hear!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Aha! Another bag I want!

Sooo many invitations on my desk and email inbox right now. Lots of gadgets being launched, like the new Sony VAIO, the new LG green something, the new HTC Desire 2.2. That's Third World Nerd territory, though, so I'm browsing the Fossil website instead because also in my inbox is an email from OK!'s associate fashion editor Kabbie Rodriguez. And she said I should check these Mulberry Alexa lookalikes:
Fossil Vintage Re-Issue Messenger, $208
Fossil Vintage Re-Issue Flap, $148

Oh no! Well, it's very similar to the Alexa but it's still not the Alexa. The good thing is it doesn't have the price of the Alexa so... maybe I want one! But Vince already ordered the yellow Cambridge Satchel for me. It's his Valentine's Day gift (thanks, Vince!) so I really really shouldn't buy a new bag. I really really shouldn't!

But I'm going to Megamall this week to check it out anyway!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Goal: Be the Oprah of blogging!

Vince and I were talking about how blogging now is the Wild Wild West, no accountability, no rules, no code of ethics, and how this trend is alarming. Vince said that readers will eventually tire of the nasty blogs and support blogs that make their life better. And where readers are, advertising will follow.

He's a changed man, folks!
Vince: (in a hopeful tone) Readers will smarten up. 

Me: They already are. Did you know that Perez Hilton has changed the attitude of his blog? (source)

Vince: Wow.

Me: He said that all the suicides last year, the ones caused by bullying, made him think about his blog and how he's a big bully himself, writing all those mean things about stars. And he apologized to Jennifer Aniston no less! And she forgave him (source). He said, "I really want to be part of the solution and not part of the problem." (source)

My next chapter is to create an even  better blog!
Vince: I don't know why people never learned from Oprah. Talk shows used to be all trash and sensationalism. Really! Remember those days?

Me: Yes!

Vince: Oprah said she would not change her programming. She avoided that even though the market was going in that direction. Years later, the others are all gone and she's a billionaire. So be Oprah, rabbit!

Yes. I will be the Oprah of blogging! Positive vibes all around. Love love love!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Why I'm a nice blogger

Okay, so I said I don't like talking about serious stuff in my blog because it just invites controversy. But ever since that Big Bad Blogger issue a few weeks back, some people have been asking and asking and asking me about how I, a blogger, can resist becoming a big bad blogger myself.

And I always say, "That's because I'm a journalist first and I'm guided by journalism ethics and principles. It's a very slippery slide to corruption, especially with all the power I can wield with words. But I can resist it. It can be done."

What is corrupt behavior?
1. Blackmailing people (i.e. "If you don't do this, I'll blog about you!")
2. Demanding payment (in cash or in kind) for a story
3. Acting high and mighty (i.e. "Why did I get an invite late? Do you know WHO I AM?")

I started blogging in 2005, when nobody cared about bloggers. Back then, blogging was untainted by corruption. Blogging used to be a beautiful thing. It was an arena of people just writing for the sake of expressing oneself, for entertainment, for the love of writing and art and truth. But now that it's been invaded by advertising and PR, unscrupulous people have realized that they can use blogs as a weapon, as a tool for getting what they want.

I'm glad I was a writer first before I became a blogger. I used to correct people when they say, "You're a blogger?" with "Actually, I'm a writer with an online presence." But yeah, sure, I'm a blogger! But let me tell you why I wanted to be known as a writer first. A writer's loyalty is only towards the truth and to the readers. When I blog, I think about YOU. I don't think about me. Will this post entertain you? Will this make you happy? Will this make you laugh? Will this make you think? Will this help you shop/cook/dress/look better?

Even though I write about my life, I choose the parts of my life that I think YOU will like. That's why some of you think I live in a fairy tale. I don't. But I don't write about my shit because I assume you already have enough stress in your life. Do you really want to know mine?

Now, because the blogosphere has been infiltrated by people who write for money alone, bloggers are viewed with suspicion. People now think bloggers are out to get money, invites to events, and loads of free stuff. This really makes me sad.

I admit I earn from my blog and that I've gotten free stuff but I am always gracious and grateful for the things I get--from little lip balms to an all-expense-paid trip to Singapore, it's all the same to me. I am grateful. I never demand and I never complain. I also do sponsored posts (thanks, Nuffnang!) but even Nuffnang knows I don't always accept their many proposals. That's because I weigh the cost of doing a sponsored post first. Again, is this something I really use and is this something you'll find useful? Bonus na lang that I get paid to write about it! And, like I said in my FAQs, a sponsored post is properly labeled for transparency. But most of the product features I write about are really stuff I own or purchased or want (but can't afford yet!), some are "pakiusap" lang. Walang bayad yun.

So I blog because I love to write. I blog because I love to share what I love. I blog because I love my readers. I blog because my readers love me. It's all about love, baby. It's never about the money or the freebies. You can count on that.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

It's all Rajo's fault

But let me start at the very beginning.

Since Mulberry designed a bag for It Girl Alexa Chung, I've always wanted to get my hands on the Alexa.

My friend Nikki proposed to buy one for me last Christmas when she and her family went to Hong Kong. But it's USD 1150. That's quite a bit of money, that Alexa, so I said, "Thanks but (sob) no thanks!" Then I figured I'm sure to find a similar shape here somewhere.

And I did find one in Aldo. It's the same shape and I was actually about to buy but I got very sick and so stayed home to work (Yes! No rest for the weary!) I also had my browser open to Twitter. One Tweet from fashion designer Rajo Laurel intrigued me. He tweeted that he just had the most lovely thing with a link to his blog on Stylebible (click here).

Which is how I discovered the Cambridge satchel! Rajo described it so lovingly and with such delight that I wanted one!

But I thought, "When will I go to London? With an infant in my life, not for a long while!" A few minutes later, Schu tweeted that they are the official distributors here in the Philippines! Schu's Ruby Gan sent me their Facebook album and... Ladies and gentlemen, I'm in love. With the yellow bag and the price!

My only problem with the yellow is if I have my initials stamped in gold, the letters will disappear. So I'm thinking of getting red. But my heart belongs to the yellow! Maybe no initials na lang. Still thinking about those initials. Maybe I shouldn't personalize so I can pass it down to Vito or a daughter one day.

Grabe, this Twitter, ha. Parang mapapa-gastos ako nang di oras with all the stuff I find (follow me!). Anyway, if you want to order your very own Cambridge satchel, visit Schu's Facebook page for details.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Be still, my beating heart!

Opened my mail this morning to see this:

I literally squealed inside! I am such a fan of Don Draper, even though he's a huge jerk. He's just so... manly!

I've been missing Mad Men since the season ended. That season was intense! Don had to struggle with his divorce and custody arrangements, a rebellious pre-teen Sally, the death of his closest friend, mentoring the brilliant Peggy, surviving advertising and all this while going through a  rapid opiate detox!

Mad Men is still the best TV drama, even though Boardwalk Empire dethroned it in the recent Golden Globes. I like Boardwalk, too, but it's too soon. Mad Men was at its best the past season. I can't wait for the next season!!!

Meanwhile, since Don's following my Tweets, why don't you do the same?

What I wore... to Wine Night

I am really loving this cool weather we're having lately. My jackets and coats and scarves are finally seeing the light of day once more. So at our monthly Wine Night, I just had to wear a leather jacket.

Outfit details: Zara leather jacket, Bayo knit blouse, Levi's Lady's Style metallic jeans, Anthem platform pumps, Kate Spade bag, Funtote ferris wheel tote, enamel earrings from tiangge

Only five of us showed up last week. Lana and Red were working, and Mariane, Jimboy and Kat were studying abroad.
Nikki showed up in a tux!
Nicole was in her usual black and Nic was in a floral mini dress
Bernard, the thorn among the roses =)

I have to point out Nikki's elegant high bun. I love it! And you know what? It's fake!
She bought it in Bangkok. Her husband, Bern, said that those fake buns (yes, she has more than one) are freaky scary. Oh, our poor men and all you have to deal with to have gorgeous wives!

That was a fun evening. I had to go home early, though. Mommy and wifely duties call! Okay, that's enough outfit posts. I have some shopping posts up next!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

What I wore... to lunch with Tweetie de Leon

When you get invited to have lunch with a gorgeous celebrity, you kinda have to skip the jeans and tee for a nice dress. That's because you wouldn't want to look too bad beside a shining star.

Outfit details:
Zara cream dress, Nine West nude pumps, Fino doctor's bag, Charles & Kieth aviators, Ensembles golden pearl necklace, Chinese good luck beads

Tweetie. Perfect!
Unilever's Jacque Yuengtian. Loving her dress and the black-and-gold 
cuff and chunky necklace!
Pond's Age Miracle's Rissa Mananquil
is newly engaged!

Well, I tried. Beside the luminous Tweetie de Leon, I still looked like a faded rag doll! If you want to know why I had the immense pleasure of having lunch with this beautiful woman, click here!