Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Iza reveals her beauty secrets

Last week, I had the pleasure of seeing my gorgeous cousin, Iza Calzado, be presented to the press as the new face of Myra 400 E. The Myra brand ambassadors are all lovely and accomplished but I think this time, they truly found the perfect embodiment of beauty, brains, success, wholesomeness, and health and fitness in Iza.

The last time I saw Iza was mid-last year when I was nearly at the end of my pregnancy and she was at the start of her running for fitness. I asked her why she looked so fantastic and she said she's just so in love with running. I told her I'd take up running after giving birth. But of course, with motherhood overwhelming me, I didn't.

Sigh. I look so Haggardo Versoza beside the blooming Iza! I'm wearing a Mango dress
with Schu satin pumps
But when I saw Iza again last week, looking so svelte in a Luca dress and Charlotte Olympia pumps, I kinda wish I did! And her hair and skin! Oh, she was positively glowing! Iza jokingly credited our friends, (my beloved beauty team!) makeup artist Jigs Mayuga and hairstylist Ney Guesse, but she added, seriously, that it's because she's been taking Myra 400 E Vitamin E capsules.

"How long did you take Myra 400 E before you saw positive changes?" I asked her.

She replied, "I don't really know. I wasn't really aware but after a while, people were telling me, 'Blooming ka!'" She added that since she's been running and eating healthy for a while, the recent bloom must've been the effect of the Vitamin E.

Iza takes on the beauty bloggers' questions.
I am very very very intrigued! The Myra E people made sure I went home with their products--body lotion, facial moisturizer, whitening cream, tinted moisturizer and, of course, the Vitamin E capsules--and I am oh so ready to try them! Will give a review in 6 weeks!

I also want to go back to exercising. After my epic fail at Barre3, I am ready to give fitness another try. It's just that I'm soooo busy and I'm soooo tired all the time! Iza told me, "Ate Frances, you have to make your health a priority. You have to push back schedules, say no sometimes, put yourself first."

I complained, "I can't! I'm sooo busy!" And she gently replied, "The problem with that is before you even started, you already said 'I can't'."

Hmm, between Iza and me, I'm sure she's got the busier schedule and more stressful life. So if she can do it, I can, too! If she can juggle work, family, friends, love, a fitness regimen, and look amazing at the same time, why on earth can't I?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Vito goes furniture shopping!

Look who we caught shopping for modern furniture!

Vince and I brought Vito to his Auntie Anj's chair boutique, About A Chair. He had been fussing at the lunch table, mostly because 2pm is when he starts his nap time so we figured we'll just do a quick stop at the shop then leave. Well, as soon as Vito saw the miniature versions of these designer chairs, he came alive!
Arne Jacobsen's Ant Chair
Verner Panton's Panton Chair
Eero Aarnio's Ball Chair

Let me repeat: They're mini versions! So adorable. Vito happily climbed over them, tested them, and gurgled over them. I think he liked the Ball Chair best. The cushion's very soft and it feels like a cocoon.

Are we buying? Well, first Vince and I have to buy that sofa we wanted at BoConcept! And then we'll buy Vito his own chair when we move to a bigger apartment or to a house house, which isn't for a good long while. Sigh!

But if you're looking for fantabulous accent/designer chairs for your home, I highly recommend About A Chair!

Monday, March 28, 2011

My feet love Melissa!

I've been ignoring Melissa for some time now because I thought it was just a prettier kind of Crocs. Crocs are kinda ugly and I dunno why people pair them with everything from jeans and shorts to dresses and nurse uniforms. Well, ya they're comfy but your feet get sweaty and icky after a while. Is that why some people wear them with socks? Negative style points! So even though some really stylish ladies have begun raving about Melissa, I chose to ignore.

And then I found out that crazy funky cool designer Vivienne Westwood designed a line for Melissa. Of course I had to check it out.
This smells soooo good!
Designer flats!
Super comfy and cool. No icky sweaty feeling!
It may be plastic but it sure is fantastic!
I super love my Vivienne Westwood + Melissa ballerina flats! I am totally regretting not checking out Melissa now. Of course, now I am. Their online store is super cool. Super cool! It's so not good for me and my PayPal account!!! I want them all! And it's free shipping! Okay. Must. Close. Computer. Now!

A note on usage: I just had to add this because of my last few words up there. It's very Pinoy to say "close the light/TV/computer" when the correct term is "turn off the light/TV/computer." I don't correct people when they say the former because I think it's a Pinoy terminology. It's really not supposed to be proper English. It's like saying, "Did you eat already?" when it should be "Have you already eaten?", or "officemate" when it should be "colleague" or "co-worker." But since we Pinoys get it, I guess it isn't really wrong. It's how we use English--the Pinoy way! Anyway, in my case, I literally do close my computer. It's a laptop so I snap the lid shut. I don't turn off my laptop, I just close it!

Friday, March 25, 2011

What a sweet surprise!

I've been feeling a bit down recently. Not exactly sad, just... I dunno... weird. Part of it is the Japan tragedy, part of it is my realization I've been a bad friend. Part of it is the fact that we spent a lot of money lately because the insurance for the apartment and the car had to be paid (know any cheap car insurance, by the way?). Lastly, part of it is the fact I was on vacation leave last week but I still went to work every day. Like, what is up with that?

So there I was not feeling very happy with myself when this arrived for me:
It's the Swatch Lady Collection in Honey Melon!

I had Tweeted some time ago that I wanted one. It was just a silly Tweet that I forgot about pretty soon after. But a follower--a very important woman who doesn't want to be named--decided to surprise me by sending me the Swatch. And not just any random watch--it's in my favorite color, too! Orange!

Thanks, G, for thinking of me and brightening my day. I feel like the world is a better place because of generous souls like you. Actually, it is a better world because of people like you and the causes you support and the people you help. God bless you!

P.S. Obviously, because of this, I love Twitter! Follow me!

What I wore... to the salon for a really fab blowout!

I was invited to the special relaunch of Acca Kappa's beautifully crafted hairbrushes on Wednesday. It was a very intimate affair and I had the pleasure of spending the afternoon at Emphasis Salon with friends Nikki and Shen.

But I'll talk about that in my beauty blog. For now, here's what I wore:

Love everything I'm wearing because they're all super comfy. The Gap shirt is so soft and cool. The Levi's Lady's Style jeans make me look like I'm taking diet pills that actually work. The Kenneth Cole heels are so comfortable, I can run in them. I actually have, come to think of it. Accessories are a Karimadon chain necklace and Vita Fede black leather cuff.

And I know it can't be seen much in the photos but I'm wearing red lipstick!!! It's Laura Mercier Sweet Cherry. It's a sweet red so the beauty editors tell me it's still not a true red. It's red!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

5 things I'm loving now

1. My nail polish. It's Black Lingerie by Revlon. I've never worn black polish ever so this is very interesting for me. It's actually not black enough for me but I like that it dries fast and that it's really sticking to my nails. I also love those cute pudgy feet!

2. My nail polish again, this time on my toes. It's Raven Red also by Revlon. I love that gorgeous red! Sorry that you really can't see the polish. This photo was meant for an outfit post, which is up next.

3. Reading Margaret Atwood at the Ayala Triangle Gardens. I don't remember the last time I read a book under a tree! So today, while waiting for Vince's lunch break, I went to the park and read. Happiness! Since I grew up in the hills, I do miss fresh air. Now you can't say that the air in Makati is fresh but that little park does feel like an air purifier. I swear my lungs liked the air better there.

4. The Rustan's Home slippers that were provided at the La Mer facial I had this morning. These slippers are the best. Ever! I'm going to buy myself a pair.

5. Fruits. Nothing says summer quite like a bowl of fruit! That's mangoes, star apple, chico and bananas. They're from my in laws, who are always so very generous and thoughtful.

Actually, I am loving a LOT of stuff right now but I believe they deserve a post becuse they have such fabulous stories attached to them. Blog marathon tomorrow! Hitting the sack now to sleep between the hubby and the baby. And that is my ultimate favorite thing!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Relishing these days

Here's why:

More on that baby boy in Topaz Mommy. Hope you're finding things to be grateful for. Life is so very short!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This IS a plastic bag

Remember the madness over the Anya Hindmarch four years ago?

Well, I didn't go insane with that one. I have just as nice (maybe even nicer) canvas bags that cost much less. I have a stylish bayong, too. When I was a little girl, I used to carry my Lola Auring's bayong whenever we went to the palengke. So when I saw a cool black and white bayong a few years ago, I snapped it up and use it when I run to the supermarket.

Then today, I saw this:

It's the Jill Sander Market Acetate Bag. It's orange. It's reusable. It's waterproof. It's easy to clean. And it's so Pinoy! It looks like our sando bags! I want!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Japan is still so beautiful

I spent all weekend with the TV on, watching in shock as CNN, BBC and NHK reported on the Japan earthquake and the devastating tsunami that followed. I'm sure you're just as frightened, alarmed and concerned. After all, our country is a member of that deadly Ring of Fire and it's not a question of if for us, it's really a matter of when.

Since this is a blog that won't dwell on sad things, I just want to share that even with the devastation that happened in Japan, I can't help but admire what a beautiful country it is.
The hardest hit areas are supposed to be the poorer parts of the country. But look at that--the quaint homes with beautiful tiled roofs and the trees and the sea in the distance. What a lovely place!

When my fellow editors and I were watching the first few videos on CNN last Friday, we were mentally pushing the cars on the road to move faster as we saw the huge waves closing in on them fast. Clearly, we weren't telekinetic. Then someone said. "That's beautiful farmland. All gone." That's true. The acres upon acres of farms were a lovely sight until they all got swallowed up by the tsunami.

Even in distress, the Japanese are elegant and refined. And it's not just the way they're dressed! The way they reacted--calm, cooperative, disciplined, helpful of each other, orderly, no looting, no hysterics, no panic, no selfishness, no self-pity--just shows the beauty and strength of spirit of the Japanese people. 

CNN reported that people were helping each other in search-and-rescue missions. When one man was asked if he'd rather wait for the government to clean up, he replied, "It is up to me to fix things. No one else will do this for me." Quite unlike us since we blame the government for every little thing. I remember there was this news bit on TV about how the strawberries from Baguio last year were smaller than usual. The woman they asked about it said, "Yung gobyerno kasi. Di nila pina-uulan." ("It's the government's fault. They didn't make it rain."). Oh well. 

I also noticed how perfect the roads in Japan are. None of the pot-holed, patched-up horrors we have here. And the Japanese really know how to build! It was an 8.9 quake with a mega-tsunami following right after and still most of the buildings withstood the forces of nature. Wow! Hooray for Japanese engineering!

In the midst of all the horrors, there can still be beauty and wonder. Right now though I wish that the weather warms up for them, especially for those survivors who are still waiting to be rescued. To the beautiful people of Japan, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

*photos from The Globe and Mail. Click here to see more photos of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Listen and weep

I am obsessed with Adele's "Someone Like You." You have to watch her as she sings, as she agonizes over each word in this haunting song of loss, regret and longing.

I really cry whenever I listen to this song, even though I have—gladly—no experience of a lost love. I married my great love and I love him deeper with each passing day.
At Nikki's wedding last year

I guess I cry because I am mourning for Adele (she wrote this song for a former lover) and all those who don't have what I am so grateful to have--a love that is true and deep and lasting and strong and a source of comfort and joy. I truly wish that everyone find that one true love and be wise enough to recognize it and choose it above all else. Love isn't easy but it's always worth it.

Have a happy weekend filled with love!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Red lipstick and animal print!

At a lovely lunch at Lu with Preview editor-in-chief Pauline Suaco Juan, I was admiring all the animal print going on in the March issue:

Then I said, "Ya know, Pauls, it's my beauty resolution this year to wear red lipstick and my fashion resolution to wear animal print. I'm 34. I should be able to wear those bold looks with confidence, right?"

And she said, in shock and disappointment, "Frances, of all the people in the world, you're the one who can pull off red lipstick and animal print most! Your personality is just so... so..."



Later, at dinner, I told Vince the exchange and he said, "Well, that's exactly why you don't need red lipstick and animal print."

Yeah, on others it's a look, a style, an armor. On me, well, with my hearty laugh, my strong opinions, my quick temper, my wild gestures, I'd just look... LOUD. What do you think???

Mebbe not? Mebbe yes! Mebbe I can start with shoes and a bag?
Christian Louboutin Leopard Slingbacks
Mulberry Bayswater Leopard Bag in Camel 

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Up and About a Chair

Remember when Vince and I wanted to replace our sofa? We had decided to invest on a fabulous Bo's sofa that would cost us a quarter of a million bucks (trust me, the sofa was worth it!). Then we saw the movie Up and figured that since we don't plan to have kids, why not buy a his-and-hers pair?

Up was a really gorgeous movie about a boy and a lonely old man. But it's also really about a couple who loved each other so much. That's Vince and me! And those two chairs they sat on for the rest of their lives just seemed such a good idea since Vince and I are very different people and yet we like the same things, too. It's like two different chairs made for the same purposes sitting in one room... Well, that's a marriage for you!

But you know what happened next--we got this little guy! The sofa budget went to him naturally.

Anyway, thoughts of sofas and chairs were swept under the rug until my sister-in-law and her hubby, Anj and Lit Onrubia (you met them here), opened a shop dedicated to just chairs. It has a very prosaic name--About A Chair--and I like that. There's no mistaking what it's all about!

When Vince and I were newly married, the hunt for quality furniture that didn't look like boring hotel furniture was really a daunting task. We spent months just looking at shops which didn't really offer much. Or we'd find a gem in a shop and then the rest of their stuff is all blah. Or we'd find a fabulous shop but the prices are insane (hello, BoConcept and Natuzzi!). Enter About A Chair.

The stylish little shop is squeezed between Aristocrat and Queens along Jupiter St. in Makati. It's such a sweet place. I really like it there! The chairs are all iconic--from Jacobsen's Egg Chair to Eames' Lounge Chair, the shop did a great job choosing which pieces to carry. They chose design classics but those that are distinctive--no blah chairs in here! Each chair has personality. Each chair has a story!

My favorite part is that these chairs are reasonably priced. For the design, the quality of materials, the craftsmanship, I say the prices are pretty good! They're not cheap, not at all. We'd still need to set aside some moolah every month to afford these for our Up his-and-hers pair:

I chose this. I don't know what its name is (I'll ask!). It's just begging for your butt! I want to curl up in it and tuck my legs and get lost in a thick book.

The Cigar Chair is sooo comfy. The leather is so smooth and soft and the chair just hugs your entire body as you sink into its depths. It's love! It's supposed to be for smoking cigars  but I bet Vince has other ideas, like movie marathons, reading fests and PS3 weekends!

Isn't About A Chair such a fab place? I urge you to do drop by!

About A Chair: 2/F 146-A Jupiter St., Bel-Air Village, Makati. Tel no. +632-890.7602. Store hours: 10am-7pm (Mon-Sat) and 11am-7pm (Sun).