Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Gift idea (for me!): Kate Spade's Places To Go, People To See

I love Kate Spade. I want to be Kate Spade. I like her design aesthetic. I like her clever little clutches. I like her classic but sweet bag designs. I love the line and patterns of her dresses. I love her books. Like I said, I love Kate Spade. I want to be Kate Spade!

So I've been wanting her latest book since I saw it on her website:

Places to Go, People to See. For anyone who loves to travel and dreams of travel. I actually don't like traveling haha. I like my nice, comfy, cozy, pretty little home so much, it takes a LOT to get me out the door. But that's why I love books. I feel like I'm traveling the world anyway!

In Kate Spade's charming book, gorgeous photos fill every page. Remember when glamour ruled travel? No? Then you're young haha. Joking aside, I think this book captures that old-world glamour, the breathtaking anticipation, the captivating sights, the unforgettable experiences of traveling to destinations like Paris, New York City, the Amalfi Coast, Marrakech, Tokyo, and St. Moritz. 
Unlike our mystery tourist, I always travel light.

My weekends now always start on Thursdays, dahlin'!

Must get this book! Or maybe you can stuff it in my stocking!

You can buy Kate Spade's Places To Go, People To See from any of the boutiques located at The Power Plant Mall, Greenbelt 3, Rustan’s Makati, Newport Mall, Shangri-La Plaza Mall and Bonifacio High Street Central Square. It will be available starting December. Buy it for me! I'll wait for it!

*photos courtesy of kate spade new york

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Taylor Swift. Blank Space. Again.

Can't get enough of her!

If I were a boy, I'd totally marry Taylor and have the honor of having a song written about me. I mean, it's not a dubious honor at all. To be immortalized in song. Forever!

Even if it goes down in flames, I'd still be immortal!!!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Get your iPhone 6 from Smart naaaaaa!

If you're an Apple user like me, you must be one of those looking forward to the release of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus tomorrow by Smart Communications, Inc. Smart is still accepting pre-orders for the phones. They'll be available tomorrow, November 14, 2014!

What to know:
  • Smart is offering the amazing iPhone 6 for only P1,799/month
  • Smart is offering the bigger iPhone 6 Plus for only P 2,049/month
  • Get two (2) iPhone 6 devices at Infinity Premium Plan 8000
  • Pre-order is available through the Smart Online Store. ATM is now accepted as a payment method. 
  • Perks and special activities await Smart Postpaid subscribers! Check them out beloooooow:
Private Driver Just For You
Feel free to check out the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from November 14 to 16. Smart will take care of your ride to and from selected Smart Stores in Metro Manila for FREE! Download the Uber app on your phone, book a ride, and enter the promo code: SMARTIPHONE6, and your ride is FREE!

Choose Your Own Mobile Number
New Smart Postpaid subscribers have the exclusive privilege of choosing a customized phone number from a particular number series, provided that the number is still available. This offer is available for a limited time and on a first-come, first-served basis, and can be enjoyed when you sign up at any Smart Store nationwide.

Wipe Out Your Current Contract
Locked in to your current Postpaid Contract? SMART Postpaid subscribers now have the option to Wipe Out their current contract and upgrade to an iPhone handset in their new contract for a discount. Plus! Get a FREE 1-year handset insurance for subscribers availing iPhone 6 or 6 Plus for Plan 800 and up. For more details visit: http://www.smart.com.ph/wipeout  

Free Movies on your iPhone 6
All subscribers of the Smart iPhone 6 will get FREE 3 Movie vouchers through the smartphone app, Blink.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Fierce and fabulous!

I am loving this photo from Vanity Fair's silly story on the possibility of Lorde and J.Law becoming BFFs.

Powerful women here! From left, that's singer Lorde, Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer, and Oscar winner movie star Jennifer Lawrence. I saw the photo and I almost felt raw power emanating from it because these women are the next big thing (well, they actually already are) in the entertainment world.

The great thing about them, too, is how natural, fearless and authentic they are. I'm not a fan of Lorde or J.Law (and by that, I mean I don't follow Lorde's music or Jennifer's movies) and I fell for Natalie's talent in The Tudors. I know they are amazing young women who are fierce feminists. Great role models for our own young women really. Strong, unapologetic, passionate, driven women. Love them!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Taylor's twisted tantrum!

Taylor Swift's Blank Space debuted today (well, again haha) and I love it!

Love. Love. Love!

Love the dresses. Love the makeup. Love the places this was shot. Love the guys. Love Taylor!

I love it especially when she goes insane. I've never actually allowed myself to go crazy with my romances. I'm really quite level-headed, practical and sensible. This video is a fantasy for me. Oh, all those cheating ex-boyfriends I wish I could just club over on the head! But, no, every break up, I was polite. I think I even said, "Thank you."

Eww. I think that's crazier.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

BDJ Box Elite Corporate Chic box for a corporate chick! (Yes, another giveaway!)


My birthday giveaway #2!

My readers know I just got a cool gig as a Beauty Minister at BDJ Box, a beauty box subscription service. Part of my job is to write about my beauty experiences. Part of the perks of my job is to get monthly boxes of the beauty industry's hottest new products. And this is the current one I got:

Behold! The BDJ Box Elite: Corporate Chic box!

Here's what's inside:

  1. Pureology Precious Oil Shamp'oil, P1,195 for 250 ml (box has full size)
  2. Davines Oil for Hair, P800 for 12ml (box has full size)
  3. K-Palette 1Day Magic Liquid Eyeliner, P695 (box has full size)
  4. Canmake Tokyo Candy Wrap Lip, P410 (box has full size)
  5. Revlon Superlustrous Lipstick, P350 (box has full size)
  6. GlamGlow Youth Mud Tinglexfoliate Treatment, P3,750 for 50g (box has 5g sample size worth P375) 
  7. Glamglow Super Mud Clearing Treatment, P3,750 for 34g (box has 2.1g sample size worth P231.60)
  8. Simply She Cosmetic Pouch, P400

The Corporate Chic box is worth P4,457!!! And I'm giving it away to one lucky corporate chick! All you have to do is:

  • Follow me on Instagram (@francesasales) OR on Twitter (@FrancesASales) OR on Facebook (Topaz Horizon). Hindi kailangan lahat! Kahit isa lang. Promise!
  • Post a photo of you at work and say, "I'm a corporate chick who wants a BDJ Box Elite Corporate Chic box from BDJ Box and Topaz Horizon!" 
  • TIP: If you tag BDJ Box also, better!
  • Just one photo. Pleeeeeease don't keep posting selfies of you throughout the day.

That's it! I choose a winner on Monday next week! Good luck!

UPDATE! The winner is @tinkergell_ who won because of this photo:

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Friday, November 07, 2014

Bespoke your Ni-QUA (and yes, a giveaway!)

My birthday giveaway #1!

Ni-QUA is throwing a fab event called "Bespoke Your Ni-QUA" on November 22-23 at Century City Mall. Bespoke means customized to your specific preferences so if you're a budding designer, here's your chance to have a one-of-a-kind all leather bag!

And because it's my birthday, I'm going to give you a chance to bespoke your Ni-QUA for free!
Here's what you have to do:
  1. Follow Ni-QUA on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook
  2. Grab one of the Bespoke Ur NiQUA photos from their website
  3. Post that photo on Instagram and tell Ni-QUA your peg when you design your own Bespoke Ur NiQUA. For example, I'd say, "I want my #BespokeUrNiQUA bag to be red, white and blue!"
  4. Use the hashtag #BespokeUrNiQUA!
  5. Tag @NiQUAshop and @francesasales. You have to tag me because I'm choosing the winner!

The prize is a NiQUA Manico Mini with Strap. I'd join myself but I need a bigger bag haha. It's best if the winner can drop by the event at Century City Mall on Nov. 22 0r Nov. 23 so he/she can personally attend to the design process. If the winner can't drop by, that's okay. I'll have Ni-QUA send the voucher to the winner (must have a Philippine address).

I announce the winner on Nov 17, 2014! Good luck!

TIPS: I don't do raffles so pleeeeeease don't do multiple entries. Don't create multiple accounts just to join kasi I check each and every entry and talagang nakakatawa yang maraming pangalan pero yung picture iisang tao lang. A real FB/IG/Twitter account appeals more to me so if wala akong makitang totoong tao behind the account, toodles! Also, mas pinipili ko yung kilala ko na. So if madalas mag-comment sa blog ko or sa IG ko or sa FB page ko, mas may recall so mas malaki ang chance manalo! 

Of course, I also have my own Bespoke Ni-QUA bags: the Topaz Clutches! It's super affordable at just P1,395 each! It's a stylish bag to receive this Christmas! Grab all the colors!

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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Katie Holmes says, "Be your best beautiful." Here are 5 ways to do it.

I used to live and breathe Hollywood news. Did that for nearly all my 20s (as a fan) to my mid-30s (as a Hollywood entertainment editor). So even though I'm no longer in the celebrity magazine business, old habits die hard. I still look to Hollywood stars for beauty inspiration. When I investigate a new product, I check which celebs use it. And I always believe celebrity brand ambassadors!

So when new Olay ambassador Katie Holmes said, "Be your best beautiful," I sat up and thought about it! Watch her talk about her Best Beautiful:

Mom, actress, model Katie Holmes says Best Beautiful is "never settling." It's "an inner glow you feel, an outer glow you see."

For me, it's the same. When you're at your best, doing your best and feeling your best, you really do look your best! What's inside matters. Yes, it's an old clichΓ©, but if you're bitter, angry, unhappy, insecure, all these negative feelings will show up on your face!

I'm turning 38 tomorrow and yet people keep asking me why I look so young. I'm a sleep-deprived mommy of three little boys and yet I have yet to hear people say I look tired. Well, I'm not young and I am so very tired all the time but because I'm happy and so full of love, I look good!

Here are ways you can nurture that inner glow Katie talks about:

1. Do what you love. And do it for love, not for money. Well, it would be fabulous if what you love to do also loves you back monetarily, but don't let money take away your passion. You can never be happy if you're not spending your life on the work that you're passionate about. Whether it's curing people or baking cookies, throwing parties or making movies, writing novels or feeding the hungry, do what you love! The fulfilment and joy in your heart will show on your face.

2. Be grateful. You know what makes women ugly? Discontent and envy. That feeling that you don't have enough, that you want more, that you deserve more. So you look at other people's lives and frown because they have what you think you want. You worry about not having enough. You get insecure about your status, looks, possessions. But when you focus on the blessings you have, you will feel gratitude and peace and joy!

3. Surround yourself with love and beauty. Negativity should never find a place in your life. Hate, envy, anger, fear—these are evil! When these ugly thoughts and feelings rule your mind and heart, you can never have peace and joy. Everything threatens you. But when you forcefully push out negative thoughts and negative people from your life, you will be free from darkness. You will be released from fear. 

4. Take care of yourself. When there is joy and peace in your heart, these will naturally radiate from your face. Trust me! But that doesn't mean you shouldn't brush your hair anymore! At the very least, be well groomed! Keep yourself clean and neat. Enjoy your femininity by wearing pretty clothes or wearing makeup. Most importantly, take care of your health. A healthy body is the most beautiful body!

5. Believe in a higher power. I believe in God. I really, truly do. Many of my fears, the anger and doubt, the insecurity and shame, all of this ugliness disappeared when I placed my trust in God. Everything in my life I give to God, too! From the biggies like my marriage, my kids and my work to the smallies like stuff I want for myself. Yes, I even prayed for clear skin when I was 36 years old! It never occurred to me to give that concern to God until I was 36! And God really provides for me. Whether it's the food on our table and writing jobs or when I need comfort, assurance and protection, God is always there! Because I have Him, I am free. I am at peace. I have joy. And that's what makes me beautiful even though my life isn't exactly perfect!

Katie agrees with me. She tells Huffington Post:
"I look at women today and they're taking on so much in a great way and really making a difference in the world. But they're juggling a lot. You have to take time to be grateful for the things in your life, to celebrate the people in your life that you really love. And drink a lot of water!" 

Being at your best, feeling your best, doing your best. I think that's what makes you beautiful! How about you? What do you think makes you beautiful?

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Wednesday, November 05, 2014

REVIEW: Happy Skin ZZ Cream Foundation

Okay, I know I seem to be posting a lot about Happy Skin lately. Trust me, these are not paid posts. I just really love the Proudly Pinoy brand! And this product I'm reviewing today is my current favorite!

Wow, ang laki naman ng photo pag embed from Instagram! Kakahiya. You can see all my imperfections!!! But that's really my skin. Riddled with acne scars and freckles! Actually, mas nakakahiya the grammar error. Grrr. To my credit, naka-autocorrect pa kasi my phone that time and apparently it does not recognize "its"!

Anyway, so I'm loving the ZZ Cream. As you can see from that huge IG pic, I started using ZZ Cream three months ago. Its full name is Happy Skin ZZ Zit Zapper Second Skin Cream Foundation for Acne-Prone and Sensitive Skin. It may be a very long name but it says exactly what it does—it perfects skin while making skin look perfect! I love it!

What I like:
  1. I didn’t break out. I’m sensitive to a lot of skincare and makeup products and this foundation passed with flying colors. In fact, even when I committed that great skin sin (sleeping with makeup on), my face didn’t freak out. Hooray!
  2. It has yogurt and grapefruit extract to lighten pimple marks.
  3. I love the fresh feeling it leaves on my skin. Not quite minty but there’s a slight freshness, which is great for waking me up!
  4. My skin looks even and glowing.
  5. The foundation is buildable, for those days when I need extra coverage.
  6. My skin improved over time! I haven’t had a pimple since I started using this every morning!
  7. It’s affordable at P1,299 for the 30ml tube.
What I don’t like:
Well, it comes in just one shade and while the shade works for my skin tone, I think those with really fair and really dark complexions might find the one-shade-fits-all a bit odd. 

Other than that, Happy Skin ZZ Cream is perfect! Here I am wearing all Happy Skin products: ZZ Cream, eyeliner, lipstick, and eyebrow pencil. It’s dual purpose, which makes it a makeup must-have for a busy mama like me! A foundation that will not just cover up acne marks but also clear up skin? Count me in!

Happy Skin is available at Rustan’s Makati; Rustan’s Shangri-la Plaza; Beauty Bar; Plains & Prints; www.happyskincosmetics.com 

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Monday, November 03, 2014

Spouse vs House

If you have TLC channel, you might have come across the home makeover show called, "House vs Spouse." The show will give $25,000 to a couple to renovate their home. The catch is the wife (and kids, if they have any) will move out and not have any say about the renovation at all. So it's up to the husband how he'll spend the $25,000.

Some episodes are super sweet, like the one I embedded below, because you can see that the husband really knows his wife and wants to make her happy. Some episodes will make you cringe because the husband is so clueless and selfish. Like there was this one episode that I could NOT watch because the husband was so giddy about what to get himself. "I want a urinal! I want expensive speakers!" He painted graffiti all over the entire wall of their kid's room! The wife WEPT. She just broke down, saying no one ever pays attention to her needs. When she cried, "I'm the girl no one sees!", I turned the TV off. That episode was depressing!

How about you? Will you trust your husband with your home? I know a lot of moms who can't even trust their husbands with anything! Like, they won't leave the kids with their hubbies! That is the man you married! The father of your children! You have to trust him! Trust (not love!) is the foundation of every successful marriage!

Now, if Vince and I were to be given $25,000 to renovate our home, I wouldn't worry about a thing. Mostly because he's actually the one who is more into home stuff. I always joke that I just live in his house. And we talk about our home plans often enough so that I know he knows what I want and I know what he wants, too. I'm sure he'll buy a huge rug for our living room. He'll also have bookshelves built in there. He also likes color. That's why every room in our house is exploding with color (yellow kitchen, Alice blue living and dining area, red study, chocolate and coffee bedroom). But that's the only thing I'm not so crazy about because these days, I just want to paint everything white. I just want everything—walls, countertops, bathroom tiles, floors, curtains, sheets, towels, shelves, closets, shoe closets—white! Which bores my husband to tears haha so I don't think all-white is happening. Ever.

But we have agreed on certain things like mirrored closet doors in the bedroom:
I like the gray-green-cream-brown color scheme, too! 
I like the graphic pattern on the mirrored doors.
The mirrors look aged on purpose, lending an antique delicate feel!
So bright and airy!
Or maybe best to leave the mirrors alone!

We've also agreed on bold stripes in our boys' room (see our pegs here).

It's nice to talk about plans and dreams with your spouse. Right now, we can't afford a full blown renovation. Plus, with three little kids (one a baby!), it's a bad idea to turn our lives upside down! So we'll do it slowly. That's our next project. The house!

Meanwhile, check out my favorite episode of "Spouse vs House":

*photos from House Beautiful, Shelter Interior Design, Wind Lost, Loft & Cottage, The Lettered Cottage

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