Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Shopaholic Confession

Hi, my name is Frances and I'm a shopaholic!

Regular readers of this blog know how much I love to shop. Now before you all write me off as someone who gets into debt for the love of shopping, let me say that I'm quite responsible with my purchases. I never spend money I don't have! And what extra money I do have goes to recently bought goodies like these:
a green and gold dress from Zara

a fabulous PS3 game for my hubby's birthday this weekend

a floral cocktail ring from Aldo

a pair of adorable ballet flats smothered in black sequins
from Landmark

and our necessary monthly diet of books!!!

I'm also about to get some seriously chunky platforms from Charles & Keith soon because I want to tower over everyone again. I went through a flats phase last year because I thought ballet flats were comfy and cute. Well, I've changed my mind. I want to be powerful and fashionable again.

In defense of those who are retail hobbyists, did you know that, aside from 4-inch heels, shopping makes me feel powerful? While other people feel power when they lead or abuse others, my feelings of power just involve handing over a wad of cash to the cashier girl and then walking around with these wonderful shopping bags filled with the most wonderful things on the planet. Quite harmless, I say!

It was around three years ago, when I started earning real money, that was when I started enjoying shopping. I remember this one time that I passed by a porcelain shop (yes, dishes!) and saw these elegant cream plates edged in 18-carat gold and covered in white lace filigree detailing. I thought, "Those are truly beautiful. I wish I ate off dishes like that..." Then I looked at the price tag. Then I asked the salesperson how many pieces were in the set. He said 24 pieces of the exquisite dinnerware. Then I looked in my wallet. Then the glorious realization: "OMG, I can actually afford the plates. I can eat from those plates every day of my now fantastic life!!!"

My beautiful dinnerware makes me feel like a princess each time I eat!

Purchasing power. There's nothing like it. And I hope you, my fellow bloggers, agree! If you do, then you must check out OK! magazine's February issue. May I direct your attention to the yellow part of the cover? I'm very very proud of that part because that's our Confessions of a Shopaholic movie special! The entire OK! staff had so much fun putting together that section. Joanna got a great interview from the show's star, Isla Fisher. She also got the movie's stylist (and stylist to Sex and The City) Patricia Field to cough up these fantastic style-on-a-budget tips. I supplemented the story with a sidebar on "Shopaholic Essentials" like comfy heels (we like Cole Haan's Air platform heels--serious style and serious Nike Air technology!). And because we love Shopaholic's Rebecca Bloomwood, Elaine added a fun story on our favorite silly ditzes: Legally Blonde's Elle Woods, for example.

Can you tell we're so excited about the movie??? Anything that involves shopping is good news to me. After all, there's nothing like retail therapy. Really. There have been times I've felt so bad, I almost didn't want to wake up. But a trip to the mall or an hour on eBay after, and I'm ready to face life again... in stylish new duds, of course! I know it sounds absolutely shallow but whoever said money can't buy happiness clearly did not have much of it! Viva la shopping!

Catch Confessions of a Shopaholic in cinemas on February 18, 2009!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

A hilltop wedding

I seem to be posting on Wednesdays and Sundays!

This weekend was extremely busy. First, a wedding on Saturday afternoon. Second, a birthday-karaoke party that night. Third, shopping on Sunday! Fourth, a visit to my in-laws. Today will just be about the wedding!

Pinky Jacob, my grade school friend from Assumption, got married to her longtime sweetheart Derek Ileto at the Christ the King Church in Taytay, Rizal. They wanted to get married somewhere different. Yeah. Everyone in Manila gets married in Intramuros, that church near Mall of Asia, in Calaruega, or in Forbes Park. Ho hum. So, even though getting to Taytay was really hard, it was great to discover a new place!

The church is so high up the hills that its nickname is "Church in the Sky." The view is fantastic. What I found most remarkable about the small church was the altar. Check that out!

Pinky and Derek (sorry for the blurry shot). Their vows were filled with laughter and tears. The priest asked, "Pinky, do you accept Derek as..." Pinky said, "I do, Father." Pause. Then priest said, "Pinky, let me finish the question." Everyone had a huge laugh over that one!

This is Clarissa, another classmate from Assumption. She's Pinky's best friend and maid of honor. Clar is now based in New York City, busy making films.

Outfit shot! The dress is a gorgeous Zara floaty creation. It's green with gold floral and paisley design, with a huge bow at the neck. The bow covers the deep V neckline! It's also very sheer so I had to wear a slip underneath it. Brown tights are from Tesco (yes, the supermarket) at London. Brown pumps from Nine West. I'm still looking for the perfect platform shoes for this dress--since it's so floaty, it needs sturdy shoes to ground it. The fab bag is from my mother-in-law.

Vince and me. I'm having a bad hair day! Vince's tie is Cirque du Soleil, which he got from Las Vegas. See the creepy faces? He wore that because the wedding theme was carnivale and Mardi Gras. Cool tie. Cooler guy.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

An early Valentine's post

A few days ago, I was at a lunch at the elegant and old Manila Peninsula Hotel where Pond's Age Miracle was relaunched. Married couple Aga Muhlach and Charlene Gonzalez were there as the brand's new endorsers. Charlene looked as stunning as she once did when she stood as our Miss Philippines at the Miss Universe 1994 pageant, and Aga, at 39, still looked like the teenage heartthrob he once was. The couple talked about their love story. Aga said that Charlene is even more beautiful now than when they got married eight years ago. All of us media guests swooned and sighed as the couple answered questions from the audience. I had to leave early but I really wanted to ask Aga this: "Not all of us look like Charlene. What can you tell women who do grow old and are worried that their husbands won't like what they see?" 

At dinner, I told Vince all about my day and my glamorous lunch and then posed to him my question. My husband's eyes went soft as he looked at my face. Then, to my surprise, he softly recited this poem to me... 

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book, 
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look 
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; 
How many loved your moments of glad grace, 
And loved your beauty with love false or true, 
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you, 
And loved the sorrows of your changing face... 

- "When You Are Old" by William Butler Yeats 

He told me many might remember how pretty I was or maybe everyone will forget but to him, I grow more precious each day and every line on my face and every graying hair is a triumph of a life lived together in hope and friendship and passion and love.

And that is my love story today.