Friday, April 22, 2016

Nabasa niyo na ba ang mga kuwento ni Jollibee?

Tawa muna tayo today, guys. Sobrang init ng social media this week. Grabeng bangayan alang-alang sa ating bayan. I wasn't able to blog about our visit to Kidzania and the two secrets to a happy marriage! Next week na lang.

I'm stepping away from Facebook this weekend dahil di ko na ma-take, lalo na't nakatanggap ako ng mga di kanais-nais na words from some people who didn't like that I wasn't supporting their candidate. But before I logged off, a friend shared this photo from this page:

Haha, a fat joke in this time of political correctness! Much funnier than that notorious non-joke definitely. So I checked out the FB page called Mga Kuwento ni Jollibee (fan-made lang, not by the brand... daw) and sobrang nag-lift ang mood ko because of these:

 Proud siya sa big butt niya!

But Jollibee will do anything to look slim, too.

But not too slim...

The fake Jollibee posts are numerous! Hindi talaga magaya si Bee!

Kasi maraming may crush sa kanya, being the biggest bee in the country:

Jollibee also gets kilig when he meets celebs:

 But we all know Jollibee is the biggest celeb of them all. Na-kidnap tuloy siya.

I like these. He's so landi!

Type ko rin the Throwbacks and Flashbacks:
P2.95 ang Yumburger!!!

And because he can't resist taking jabs at the competition (which I love, btw!):

 Aww. Friends na kasi kayo!

As for the elections, maging friends na tayong lahat!

Ika nga ni Bee, "Happy weekend, everyone!" Wag na muna tayo mag-Facebook unless gusto niyo mapasaya ng Mga Kuwento ni Jollibee!

Monday, April 18, 2016

New year

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh… And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill
of under me you so quite new
- e.e.cummings

Happy 17 years of love and happy 9 years of marriage, my dearest darling Vince. I love our late night chats, with hushed giggles and whispered wonders. I won't share them with my readers, no worries, but I'm really happy you told me what you told me last night. The longer I'm with you, the more I understand love and commitment and life. Thank you for letting me grow bigger than myself. Thank you that every day feels like new, even the days when we're unshowered and elbow deep in childcare—which is more like every day now—every day is still a new adventure because there's always something new to find out about each other and life on this good earth. Even after all these years, we feel new. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Ask Frances: Will everything fall in place?

"Ask Frances" is a monthly blog series where I will answer questions from my readers. The chosen question will receive a prize. This month's prize is from Alon Island Essentials, which "pursues the essence of island living, being one with the seas and nature, with its carefully crafted lines." Their lines encompass a whole lifestyle for islanders really. There's Alon Wear, Alon Skin, Alon Mom And Baby, Alon Home, and Alon Pluses, The Accessories. Our chosen letter sender will get a maxi dress from Alon Wear and the Alon Skin Art of Tanning Set, which is made from the purest nature-derived essential oils and ingredients.

Sabine maxi-dress. Wear as a giant shirt for lounging at home, belt it before stepping out, reveal a shoulder for a more feminine look. Versatile, comfy, and comes in many designs.

Before Tanning Oil. Virgin coconut oil drenched in coffee oil and aloe prepares skin for a golden glow.

During Hydrating Skin Mist. Your hot skin will drink up this hydrating and rejuvenating mist of green tea, cucumber and lavender.

After Healing Oil. Calm and moisturize skin with this after-sun and after-shower oil.

Our question this month:

Just wanted to ask for advice for a newlywed like myself. My husband and I were college friends who eventually fell in love (we weren't aware that we had a crush on each other since college) and got married just last month. The long distance ligawan was tough and now, married life tougher because we are still apart because of his work assignment. He's trying to get reassigned to Manila as soon as he can; we've been waiting and praying for the last three years. Money is also tight since we are just starting out and the place I'm training in does not give compensation to trainees like myself. I barely have any savings because I had to support myself for the past three years because both my parents were forced to retire early when their workplaces sized down. 

I'm so anxious about everything ahead like having babies, supporting my family, getting our own place and my career. Do you think everything will fall in place? I'm trying to remain as optimistic as I can but I'm still a tad afraid.


Dear K.D.,

In my 39 years, I think I felt most confident at 13. I was positive I knew how life worked. I was going to be absolutely amazing. I just knew it! I had a life plan, a bucket list, and the brains and arrogance to go for everything I wanted. And I did get everything I wanted and more. I also got knocked down many times, so much so that if there's anything I'm sure of, it's that life has a strange sense of humor.

One day, you're the editor-in-chief of a magazine; the next day, you lose your job. One day, you tell people you're definitely not having children; the next day, the pregnancy test says otherwise. One day, you tell your mother you can't see her because you're working your ass off to give her money; the next day, she's dead. One day, you're smug about your marriage; the next day, you're wondering when was the last time you really talked. One day, you think you're pretty great at this motherhood thing; the next day, you're collapsing in defeat behind the locked bathroom door while your children bang on it with their little demanding fists.

So what do you do? Well, K.D., you have got to stop worrying!

Let me tell you a story. Nine years ago, I was about to get married. I planned my wedding in three months. I heard rumors that I must be pregnant (I wasn't) because who rushes weddings, right? I had the flu the week before my wedding. I arrived late at the church. The cake melted. An uncle started campaigning for his candidate. No one sat where they should sit and so our parents ended up having no seats! What a disaster! Despite all our meticulous planning, despite all the care we put into every detail, things still fell apart. And yet everything also fell into place. My wedding happened the way it had to happen. My wedding is still one of the best and happiest days of my life.

I believe that as long as you've got your priorities straight, things will fall into place. My priority list has always been God, husband, kids, work. Well, God gets forgotten sometimes. My husband, too. And when that happens, chaos happens. It's when I set my priorities straight, that's when things just start lining up and everything starts becoming amazing. Like my wedding. If I had focused on what people will think about me or the wedding (or the fact that my parents lost their seats!), I would be agonizing about what a failure the whole thing was. But I didn't. Priority: Honor God by marrying Vince; honor Vince by focusing on my commitment to him. Nothing else mattered!

So I don't know what's coming your way, K.D. But I do know you're in love and you have high hopes for the future. That's great! Positivity attracts lots of good stuff! Set your priorities straight. Prioritize your marriage. I think spouses should be physically together. Your husband is already acting on making that happen. No kids now so you can prioritize work, too. Money, don't worry about money. As long as you and your husband can work, you can make money. Me, I take in any work—sponsored posts, talks, PR writing, workshops, articles—anything that pays the bills and puts food on the table is good work. Plus, gigs expand your network and you'll be surprised at how much people want to help you as long as you open yourself up to new experiences and say you'll do the job.

Anyway, I guess what's eating you up is the uncertainty of what's ahead. Well, nothing in life is certain except death and taxes! But there's also these I'm certain of: God and love and just how beautiful life can be if you stop worrying. Nothing in life is certain anyway, and I've lived long enough to know that that can be a good thing. I was sure I didn't want children, for example. Thank goodness I was so wrong!

So just make your plans, prioritize what's important, live and love and laugh, and then when life throws you a curveball, reassess, reboot, start again. Things do fall into place. While you're in the thick of it, as you are now, things may just look crazy, but when you look back, things are happening just the way they should. Just ride it out and things will fall in place. They always do. You'll see. They always always do.  

Now email me so Alon can send you your dress and tanning set! Have a great weekend!

Thanks, Alon, for providing this month's prize. Shop Alon via website:, Facebook:; Instagram:; or through their roving pop-up stores.

* * * * * * *

If you have a question for me, send an email to with "Ask Frances" on the subject.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Happy Space for stationery lovers!

National Book Store invited me to what is possibly the most exciting thing for paper nerds everywhere: a stationery fair!

I won't bore you with stories of how I've had a lifelong love affair with stationery (I used to spell it as stationary until my Papa corrected me and said stationary means it's not moving while stationery is all the paper products I love), and how we girls at Assumption would swap beloved papers and pens, and how I had a special customized folder where I kept all my stationery and colored pens and I'd look through it every night, and how this one time a classmate stole my precious apple-scented apple-green eraser and hid it up her nose and she had to be brought to the clinic to get it out and so I didn't even want that eraser anymore and I didn't get mad at her at all because karma. 

Okay, so I just ran away with my stories again! I'll shut up now. But let me show you my current modest collection of stationery:
I like textures, bold colors, patterns, gold, embossed anything.
I also have a lot of personalized stationery.
Even money envelopes!

Can't wait to add to my collection this weekend at Happy Space! Here's what NBS sent me:

National Book Store will hold its first ever “Happy Space: A Stationery and Supplies Fair” on April 15 to 17 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Glorietta Activity Center. 
Admission is free. Registration starts at 10 a.m.

Happy Space will showcase the latest curated scope of stationery and back-to-school items, best writing tools, fine art supplies, cute crafts, cool toys, office essentials, and lots of awesome finds. It will also feature NBS exclusive premium brands such as Itoya, MoMA, Kaweco, and many more.

Plus! Enjoy freebies, giveaways and other surprises like contests, product demonstrations and workshops from over 40 participating brands. Get freebies and giveaways, and surprises. Get loads of inspiration and have lots of fun this summer in National Book Store’s "Happy Space: A Stationery and Supplies Fair."

I am most definitely going to be there. See you on the weekend!

Monday, April 11, 2016

My boys check out the new Zippy kiddie clothes shop

My family had a little outing today. My sons were invited to check out the new Zippy shop at Glorietta 3 and, because I had just fixed their closets, I dragged the boys from their favorite TV shows to shop for new clothes!

Vito and Iñigo hamming it up!
Piero not in the mood.
Feeling better in Papa's arms!
My sweet-toothed Iñigo was amazed at the candy bar!
Cupcake-decorating station.
Vito trying on new shoes with Papa's help.

Zippy is the biggest kids' apparel retail brand in Portugal. They entered the Philippine market just a few months ago, offering comfort and style to boys and girls aged 0 to 14 years old. The clothes are cute and not overly designed, definitely made with active children in mind. They're also made with quality materials at an affordable price, definitely made with parents in mind!

Because I have all boys, I just checked out the stuff for boys. And they are super cute!

Such gwapo boys! Such cute outfits! Can't wait to see my sons in Zippy!

There are more styles available for babies up to teens, for boys and girls, at their stores in Glorietta 3 and SM North Edsa. You can also check them out online at and at their Facebook page.

How to make nail polish colors pop (with help from Girlstuff's Rave Neon Collection)

Got my hands on the summer collection of my favorite nail polish brand, Girlstuff. My favorite shade is definitely the orange one, called Breakbeat. The blue one is called Chill, the green one is called Lounge. There's a pink one, too, called Techno. Must get my hands on that one! Breakbeat, Chill, Lounge, Techno. The names reflect the party vibe of Girlstuff's Rave Neon summer collection. I'll tell you later why these polishes are perfect for partying.

Anyway! I recently discovered a tip to make nail polish colors pop: white nail polish!

I use white only for French tips and I always thought, "Sayang naman the whole bottle kung ganito kaunti lang ang ginagamit ko." Turns out white nail polish is an excellent base for other colors since it makes the color more opaque and brighter, too.

What an excellent tip for my fingertips! So now we know!

Oh, now this is the UV-Glow Solique Gel Top Coat. This is Girlstuff's fab new product because it glows in UV light. Perfect for girls who love going to parties na madilim at may black light! It's also an excellent top coat because it increases shine, protects polish so it lasts longer (I can attest to this—there's really no chipping and dulling!). It also makes polish dry faster, like really fast. As a mom, nail polish that dries fast and lasts long is a monumental find!

My baby and I went to the launch party at RELIK Bar at BGC. Yes, it was Piero's first time in a bar. And he was 20 months old! Don't worry—it was a very girly party!
Piero saw Mama's friends! From left: Ginger Arboleda of Mommy Ginger and my fellow co-founder of Beauty Biz Bliss, Working Mom EIC Jane Kingsu-Cheng and blogger at Flats & Stilettos, Piero and me, and Janina Gutierrez Tan, creator of Girlstuff.

Janina and our dear friend beauty blogger extraordinaire, Nikki Tiu of Askmewhats. She was also the super funny host of the event. Here they're posing with the giveaways—kikay kits with the Rave Neon nail polishes plus UV-Glow Solique Gel Top Coat, a small black light/flashlight, and gift certificates for even more Girlstuff nail polish!

Here's RELIK glowing in the dark.

Every guest wore silly headbands that also glowed. The effect was really cute. All these kitten ears and bunny ears bobbing in the dark.

We also took home a pair of Fly Shades. I like mine a lot. Must buy more Fly Shades!

One part of the room wasn't dark at all—this was the nail polish bar where guests can get a manicure using the new Rave Neon Collection and the UV-Glow Solique Gel Top Coat. After application, all the girls partied!

And here's what nail art Instagrammer @hotmomnailarts did with that amazing UV-Glow Solique Gel Top Coat:

You can buy the Girlstuff Rave Neon Collection and the UV Glow Solique Top Coat from Girlsuff shops at SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM North, SM San Lazaro, Glorietta 2 and Alabang Town Center. You can also check out other shades (please check out the Topaz Horizon shade!) at their website, and see how nail polish lovers have created nail art using Girlstuff by liking their Facebook page and follwoing them on Onstagram.

To see more launch party photos, visit Girlstuff's Facebook page.