Friday, October 28, 2011

What I want for my 35th birthday

In exactly 10 days, I'm going to be 35. I find it terribly exciting--the 30s for me has always been a woman's sexiest age, the time when she's most confident, free from the insecurities that the teens and 20s were plagued with. I'm also looking forward to my 40s because that is when I think a woman is at her most powerful. Exciting times!

So what do I want for my milestone?

Well, I do have everything I need. I still have a lot of wants but, as they are wants, they don't bother me so much. But let me just tell you what they are!

Stuff I want:
1. A year's subscription to Glamour and Vanity Fair. Vince already gifted me with these! Thanks, babe!
2. A few days at the beach with my hubby and little boy, plus yaya. I'm not a beach person but what is it about kids that make you want to play in the sun and sand?
3. A year's worth of facials so that my acne will finally go away! Calling all my friends in the beauty industry! Wink, wink!
4. Shopping sprees at Mango, Karimadon, Zara, SM Forum and K&Co.
5. Shopping sprees at Mothercare, SM Baby, Rustan's Baby and Gingersnaps.
6. Red velvet cake from Karen's Kitchen.
7. Carrot cake from my friend Mariel, who I dearly miss and who will not be baking me cakes because she's in NYC.
8. A girly day at a nail salon with my girlfriends, who I also miss. This bed rest is so sad.
9. A MacBook. Either Air or Pro. Still can't decide!
10. An assistant!

Of course I have other less frivolous things on my mind, like...
1. I wish the subchorionic hemorrhage in my uterus would disappear so that my little Wiggle will be safe and I can get out of the house again. I whine a lot about being stuck home but I do that so I don't worry about Wiggle. Sometimes when I'm being shallow, it's really because something else vastly more important is pressing itself against my mind and my heart and I need to set my sights on glittery shiny things to not drown in the darkness.
2. I pray always for the safety, protection and good health of Vince, Vito and myself. And the yaya and maid! I don't think I utter a prayer more often than this one. Protect us, keep us safe, make us invisible to evil, keep us healthy. Sometimes, that's all I say to God. It must be maddening!
3. I wish all the kinks in this bag business will get ironed out. With Uncle Buck old and working slow and the leather supply running out because of the floods in Bulacan, I may have a ton of interested customers but if I can't meet demand... It's just really very frustrating for me.
4. I wish that all our plans for the magazine I edit will go spectacularly well in 2012. We're doing very well actually--both in advertising and circulation--but I want it to be bigger!
5. I want my blogs to become bigger than ever, too. They're actually great--thousands of views, steady growth, steady stream of advertisers and sponsors--but I'm ready to go HUGE.

That's all. I am beyond blessed and I thank God often for the life I have. I worked hard for it, sure, but I believe the right people and the opportunities were also sent my way and that I was smart enough (or I was advised well) to recognize them. And I am happy and completely content. Yet I am ready for more. I'll be 35 soon. In 10 days! I'm ready to do more!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dear Ate Frances

This year, something very strange happened to my inbox. It became filled with letters from blog readers asking for advice. Love, career, relationship, college, life--all these serious questions! Look, there is a reason I keep this blog silly--so you won't take me seriously, y'all! But strangely you all seem to think I'm some wise old woman. Hmmm. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or right!

Two weeks ago, I got two similar letters asking about marriage. "Dear Ate Frances, how do I know if I'm ready for marriage?" Dear kids, I don't know! My friend Kat of Kat Dy Finds offers her wise words: "If you're asking that question, then you're obviously not ready!"

But here is my explanation on why I don't know:

I'm nearly 35 years old. I've been madly in love with the same man for 12 years and have been married to him for 4. What do I know?! I'm just living life every day and learning something new each day, just like the rest of you. Marriage is hard some days, marriage is easy most days (at least, for me!). But I think that holds true for most things. But because you think I seem to have all the answers, I'll try to talk you through your woes.

Too young?
Dear L, you said you're 22 and graduating this March. Your boyfriend since 2nd year high came up with the romantic idea of marrying right after graduation. You love him intensely but you're worried you're too young and that you might meet someone else. So what are you to do?

L, I think "too young" is any age below the legal age. But a few years ago, I'd have heartily agreed with you. I know too many people who got married in their teens and early 20s and are separated now. "What were they thinking?", I always snickered. But recently, I've met wonderful people who are happily married (or living together) and they tell me they married at 19, 21, 22, 24. I know a couple, both 35,  who had an arranged marriage and they are sickeningly disgustingly all goo-goo eyes for each other since they were 14. Like I said, what do I know?

As for meeting someone else... Well, of course you'll meet someone else! Unless your husband plans to lock you up in a tower for the rest of your life, expect to meet guys who are richer, cuter, smarter, funnier, etc. Marriage certainly hasn't stopped a lot of people from falling in love with someone else. So it's up to you if you want to be true to your vows.

I've always believed that you should marry for love but that love shouldn't be the foundation of a marriage. It should be commitment. Because if it's love, well, what if one day you wake up and you don't love him anymore? Or he doesn't love you? Commitment and respect. That's what marriage is all about. If he is someone you respect and if you believe you and he are capable of a huge lifelong commitment, then what's age got to do with it?

Marriage is a hindrance to success?
Dear K, you're 27 years old and you're enjoying your career. Your boyfriend of 2 years is going to propose. You know this because you're a snoopy girl and you saw text messages between your guy and a jeweler. You're thrilled and scared because you love him madly but you're afraid marriage will end your career.

Well, K, I can totally relate. Vince asked me to marry him a month after we met and I turned him down because I was fresh out of college and haven't done anything in my life. My mistake there was I had thought Vince would be just like all the men in my family, who think women are meant for the kitchen and the bedroom. So I didn't want to get tied down. What I failed to see all those years was Vince is a wonderfully unconventional man. In fact, most of my career successes were his doing. He was my cheerleader, my guide, my mentor. He pushed me to work hard, to maneuver, to pick my battles, to win most of them, to advance up, up, up.

After Vince and I got married, my career blossomed even more. For one thing, people took me seriously. I think they think married people are more responsible so my boss gave me more responsibilities. Also, when you're married, you have a two-income household (I'm assuming you don't want to quit your job because of all your protests). With all that money, life is incredibly easy.

So what am I saying? K, if your guy is an open-minded man who isn't insecure about his woman's success, then you have nothing to worry about. It's much easier to go through life and a career with a man who believes in you, who has your back. But if he's the sort of guy who thinks little of women, believes you're only good for sex and service, and can't stand it if you're a success, well, then run away!

Love advice is hard to give because each situation is different, each intensely personal. I've learned not to give advice because if the situation doesn't end well, then I'm blamed. Girls, it's your life. Think it over and think well. It's good you're asking people what they think but in the end, it's your life and you're the only one responsible for it. So choose well! Good luck!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

These earrings from Payless can save someone's life!

I've not bought anything from Payless yet. I know a ton of people who shop there constantly for the inexpensive shoes and I've been meaning to check the shop out ever since it opened last year but I never seem to have the time to pass by. Well, now I want to go there because of these earrings!

These are special limited edition earrings that are priced at a mere P175 per set of two. Yes, you get the two pairs for just P175! They'll look really pretty on anyone's ears and since I'm the kind of girl who never leaves home without earrings, I'd definitely love to have these. I'm super loving the pink one. So pretty!

The best part about these earrings is P50 from each sale will go to the Cancer Resource and Wellness Community (CAREWELL). You see, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and buying these earrings is a lovely way for us to help out the people who are fighting this deadly disease. In fact, I suggest we all buy the earrings (they're just P175!) and give them away as Christmas gifts with a card that says, "This gift is really special! It comes with a donation to CAREWELL that I made for you."

And here's a secret: It also comes with a gift for you! Payless will give you 10% discount off on your next purchase just because you supported this great cause! What will you buy now that you have that special discount?

Payless branches: Festival Mall in Alabang, SM Megamall, Ali Mall, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Shoppesville Greenhills, Power Plant Mall, Robinsons Galleria, Market! Market!, Marquee Mall in Pampanga, Paseo de Sta. Rosa in Laguna, Trinoma, SM Manila, Ayala Center Cebu, SM Masinag, Abreeza in Davao, SM Southmall and Nuvali Solenad 2. More stores are set to open this year in Metro Manila, as well as in Cebu.