Saturday, June 29, 2013

Checking in for a minute!

Woah, was I gone for a week? It didn't feel like it because I was writing posts for this blog. Three sponsored posts are a lot of work so I feel like I've been blogging here even though nothing's been published yet since I have to wait for client approval.

I was talking to my friend, Martine a.k.a. The Dainty Mom, about this strange irony of blogging. When I started blogging way back in 2005, I just really wanted to share stories. I wanted a place that's all my own. About 3 years later, I met bloggers who were earning gazillions from their blogs and I wanted a piece of that pie. I write for a living. That's what I am and that's what I do. I write. I should be paid to write. So I didn't see anything wrong with blogs that earn.

Well, here I am in 2013, my blogs bigger than ever and the main source of my income now. Great job, me haha. Of course, you know what that means—blogging is now a job. It's a fun job! But I'm meeting clients, attending events, studying and signing contracts, sending out invoices, following up receivables, revising drafts of sponsored posts, etc etc. I'm not complaining. I'm super amazed and happy. I'm just... I dunno. I feel like I'm so busy with the business of blogging that I don't have the time to actually blog anymore, ya know?

I love blogging. Seriously. It's the best! I get to be me, I meet so many wonderful people online, I get to experience so many amazing things and given so many fabulous gifts, and I get to write and be paid to write. Dream come true!

But herein lies the irony: If I want to earn more, I have to accept more clients. If I fill my blog with paid posts, I lose my voice. If I work harder on the blog by putting a personal post and a paid post, then I'll be blogging double time and then I won't have the time anymore to actually live a life worth blogging about. And seriously, I may like the money but I like living life more! My life is more fun than blogging. So I haven't been blogging because I'm busy living. But no blogging means I'll lose my readers, which of course means I'll lose my clients. Where is that perfect balance?!

Ya know the solution to this? I should just get a job so I won't depend on my blogging income!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Topaz Fashion: The Northern Living shoot

This was shot last April and now it's out. I'm a featured personality on Northern Living magazine! Here's a behind-the-scenes look:
Having my hair and makeup done by Lizzie Oren. We talked about the Chiz-Heart love affair. That was the hottest topic back in April haha.

Since we have no yayas, I asked my sister to look after Iñigo while I was at the photo shoot. Thanks, Jacqui! It was also very sweet of Inquirer Group to put the TV on a kiddie channel so Iñigo wasn't so bored. He did lose interest eventually so Jacqui brought him to watch me have my photos taken.

That's me dancing to entertain Iñigo. I wore my Karimadon wrap dress and Pedro gray pumps.

That's photographer Dookie Ducay telling me how to fix my angles and my smile.

That's a super bored super baby haha.

And here it is!
The photo that made it was the one of me wearing my Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress and Zara pumps. My face was also Photoshopped, in case you know how I really look like haha. Hindi ko kamukha si Cristine Reyes. Sabi ng boss ko dati, "Wag ka na umangal!" Haha, I'm not complaining! I just want to look like me even if Cristine Reyes is prettier than me!

Anyway, you can read all about how I feel about blogging and writing and mommy fashion and living in the Metro North in the June issue of Northern Living.

Check out Northern Living's Facebook page on how you can get a FREE copy!

Thanks, Northern Living! I am so thrilled to be in your magazine!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Who is the Top Anchor Home Chef? I found a very yummy way!

Now that I'm a stay-at-home wife and mom, I get invited to events that promote stuff like cooking, crafts-making, safety while driving, and basically stuff that are worlds away from the fashion and beauty events I used to attend.

I like this new phase. At the start, I found it very weird but now I find it fascinating! There's a whole wide world of fab events for wives and moms! And I don't need to put full-on makeup and blow dry my hair and wear excruciatingly high heels!

One such event I recently checked out was Anchor Home Chef Final Night. Yes, it was like a reality show that picked out the best recipes that reinvented ordinary food and used the Anchor product line. I didn't even know there was a contest like this! Had I known, I'd have totally joined! I'm kinda good in the kitchen so I think I have a fighting chance. Actually, I am very good in the kitchen. That's one of the reasons Vince married me!
But... after I tasted the winning recipe, I must admit the winner deserved the top Anchor Home Chef prize. But wait wait wait. I'm getting way ahead of my story! Here's the whole Anchor product showcase. I thought they only had milk, butter and cheese slices! There's cream cheese, culinary cream, and whipping cream, too!

I've known, used and loved Anchor butter for years and years. I remember my Mama singing the jingle when she'd serve sugar-sprinkled creamy butter on hot pan de sal for breakfast long, long ago. "Fresh Anchor butter!" I can hear her now and all I can think of is bright, happy mornings. Mama loved butter!

Anyway, the Anchor Home Chef campaign is all about promoting creativity in the kitchen. By using Anchor's premium products, men and women can create dishes using ordinary ingredients and make them ultra fabulous! I believe that, too!

There was wine...

... and cheese. But no one was really wining and cheesing because Anchor started the evening with a contest for all the guests. We were all asked to make a cake in a jar!

This bibingka cake was seriously amazing. At first, I thought it was going to be so-so but the sweetness of the butter cake and the saltiness of the salted egg cream cheese topped with the delicate nuttiness of the roasted coconut buttercream was divine. Divine!

Yes, Iñigo and I ate the cake. So we didn't get to participate in the contest! That bibingka cake was too good. I wanted to ask for more actually. I just got shy.

Here I am with hot mommy Jackie Go of Go! Jackie Go! and her baby Juro. He's busy munching on carrots. I don't know what my Iñigo was looking at. But this table was right beside the chefs' table so maybe Iñigo was looking at the chefs.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The only funny r*pe joke

Watch Wanda Sykes be real funny about a really serious issue.

Actually, it's not even about rape. It's about freedom from rape. I wish my vagina was detachable as well!

Wouldn't it be so nice if we didn't have to worry about rape? I think every girl lives in the shadow of rape. Have you ever experienced these: cars filled with drunken men suddenly stopping you on the road and them threatening to grab you, a neighbor touching your bare six-year-old thigh and inviting you to check out the candy in his house, your mother warning you to lock the doors when you're staying at someone else's house, enjoying a hug from a dear friend then suddenly feeling his hard on? I have.

There are more examples of my near-misses with rape. And I'm sure you have some stories to tell, too. Let me just say that I never ever let my guard down. And you know what? It's exhausting. I never get drunk (well, just once, and with Vince). I don't do drugs. I never go inside a guy's house alone. I never let a man inside the house if I'm alone. It doesn't matter if the guy is a friend or a relative—I am never ever alone with a man. I take a photo of my taxi driver and tell him, "I'm sending your photo to my husband, just in case." I walk fast and facing traffic so I can take evasive action in case a car suddenly stops me again. I automatically wear rubber shoes, jeans and shapeless shirts if I know I'll be going home late.

It's crazy but we girls have been living this way all our life. It's our normal. Wouldn't it be so nice if we can get drunk with the guys, go home late, walk the city streets alone and in the dark, wear the skimpiest outfits and not have to worry about getting raped? Alas, as long as we have a vagina, we're never safe from men.

Men, you have to be the one to change the world for us. You have to step in the role that God designed you to have: protector of women and children. Make this world a better and safer place for us!

God bless you, Mr. Stewart!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Before he was Superman

Everybody suddenly has a crush on Henry Cavill. Get in line, girls. I've had a crush on him since 2007!

I saw him on The Tudors. Boy, that show was something. If you want to see Henry Cavill doing the deed over and over again, make sure you watch this show! He was so young and sexy (and almost always naked!), he nearly overshadowed Jonathan Rhys Meyers!

Apparently, I've seen him before. But he never made an impression. Despite his always-handsome looks. Strange! Maybe I don't like young boys haha.

2002. Here he is as Albert (silent T), the son of the Count of Monte Cristo. I loved the book, I loved the movie.

2007. Here he is as Humphrey, the fiancé of Sienna Miller's character in Stardust. Loved the book. Loved the movie!

2011. As Theseus in the awful Immortals.

Can't wait to watch Henry as the new Superman this weekend! I hope it's good! I had the biggest crush on Christopher Reeve. He was my first crush ever. I remember being 6 or 7 years old and feeling very strange after watching Superman on TV. Infatuation na pala yun. I was so disappointed when Brandon Routh took on the role. Brandon, while incredibly handsome, was so flat and boring. Let's hope Henry is worthy of the red cloak!

*images from But When a Young Lady is to be a Heroine, Fanpop, Just Jared, Geekshizzle, Perez Hilton

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Our happy L'Indochine find

A few weeks ago, my friend Leona Laviña-Panutat and her sister-in-law Char Carlos invited me to their new store, L'Indochine. It's this utterly fab and spacious space in SM Aura that sells carefully selected home finds from all over Southeast Asia.

Now I know I have this reputation as someone who loves decorating the home but that is a reputation that I don't deserve. Our home is really the project of my husband. I'm just really lazy when it comes to keeping things orderly, tinkering, browsing for home stuff, decorating. Everyone thinks that's the woman's job but happily for me, my husband loves that aspect.

I love a nice house, okay. I sniff at monoblock chairs and anything plastic, for instance hehe. Yes, I can be a big snob! I like nice things but my reason for having a beautiful house is this: Vince and I have explosive tempers. Once upon a time, when we had cheap furniture, those things would be destroyed in the wake of our fury. But when we started buying really nice things, we found that our fights just became verbal hahaha. Hello, sayang ang bahay and mga gamit naming magaganda! So investing in our home means investing in our marriage!

Okay, Vince doesn't agree with me. He says his reason for loving home decorating is simple: He loves beautiful things. He loves living in a comfortable home. He loves creating little spaces for entertainment, for work, for sleep, for play. He's always fussing about the house, wiping, dusting, polishing, vacuuming, rearranging the furniture, changing linens, plumping up the pillows. He's repairing broken appliances, hammering at the walls, installing, tinkering. Right now, he's puttering about. He just rearranged the study-and-play room so that it's now more spacious and kid-friendly. He's so happy!

I am the luckiest wife in the world.

Back to L'Indochine. So anyway! When Leona and Char invited me to drop by their new exotic home store, I immediately knew Vince would love to check it out. The home accessories are from Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. Indochina nga! Most of the items are handmade by artisans, craftsmen so they're very unique pieces. These are what caught my eye:
Hand-painted Banjarong jars and bowls from Thailand. These are so exquisite! I love the vivid colors and the vibrant patterns!

Oil on canvas painting of a mommy and baby elephant from Thailand. I like elephants because my husband thinks he's an elephant (big ears and big nose!). This painting is especially beautiful.

Golden tulips for luck! We like flowers and we like luck. But my boys liked these just a wee bit too much. We figured these tulips won't be safe in our home!

Hand-embroidered Oriental Garden pillow from Thailand. Vito couldn't stop playing with the pompoms! It's so brightly colored! So pretty and alive! But then he wanted this next:
"I want this, Mama."
I test it.
Iñigo tests it.
"I like it, Kuya Vito!"

Oh, we liked it. We really did. But Vito, who is just like his father, went around the store one more time. Vito likes nice things, too. I remember, when he was littler, that I was scared to bring him to a furniture shop because he might break things. Nope. He toddled around going "ooh" and "ahh" and nodding in approval. He also likes nice hotels. He likes nice houses. He runs his hands on fabrics and surfaces. He explores the rooms and tests the beds and if he likes it, he laughs. If he doesn't, he'll say... Okay, I won't say what he says haha. He's really very much like his father!

So anyway, my almost-three-year-old boy went around L'Indochine one more time and he found this:
It's a pumpkin pouf from Thailand. He LOVED it. He went crazy about it. Vince loved it, too! I didn't love the price tag haha but it was two against one haha so... I dragged Vito around the store again and asked him to pick out something else! But he went back to the pumpkin pouf and so we decided to buy it.

At the cashier with Vito's new exuberant friend, Berry. She's the daughter of Manila Fashion Observer's Tin Dychiao, who happened to be shopping at L'Indochine, too. In fact, we bumped into a lot of people we know. Looks like L'Indochine is the hottest home store these days!

Here we are as soon as we got home:

And here are the boys enjoying it every single day:

Maybe we shoulda gotten two poufs. Double adorableness!

L'Indochine is at the 3rd level of SM Aura. Shop shop shop!

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Mad Men cast dance to Daft Punk

Joannie sure can move that luscious body!
Pete and Trudy. Sigh! Stupid Pete. You had the perfect wife!
I've totally forgotten about Pete and Peggy.
They all look so young!
Don Draper. You didn't dance but you were still unforgettable.