Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My bookstore haul

Every once in a while, Vince and I go to the bookstore and go on a shopping spree. No, we don't do it every week or even every month because then we'll just end up buying lots of books and then have no time to read them.

To be honest, we haven't even opened the books we bought on our last book-buying spree. That was in July. Vince and I have been up to our eyeballs in work and parenting duties. Actually, Vince does find pockets of time to read. I haven't been able to. At all. So I figured we won't visit the bookstore until I finish at least one book from the July shopping.

But then came Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover of InStyle's October issue. So off I trooped to National Bookstore, dragging Vince with me of course!

Gwyneth is my ultimate girl crush. She is living the life I want. I admire how she worked so hard to be the best in her field (acting) and then gave it all up for her family. She disappeared for 5 years—an eternity in Hollywood—and then she came back as a lifestyle guru and cookbook author. I want that so badly!

I admit that when Gwyneth quit her career, it seemed to me the most ridiculous thing in the world. But now that I have my own family, I dream of spending all day with my husband and children, of cooking their meals, of kisses and cuddles on demand anytime.

This dream has a deadline, by the way. I really only want to do this while the kids aren't in school yet. I can't imagine staying home forever. I need something outside the family and home to live for but, while the kids are tiny, I'd like to be there for them.

I'm already plotting what I'll do next so I bought this as research:

Cupcakes and Cashmere
by Emily Schuman is a book based on her blog. I bought her book because I've been toying with the idea of writing a parenting book based on my mommy blog. Emily made her book look like a magazine or, in her case, a blogazine—short articles, mostly street photos, easy-to-follow instructional guides on how to, say, paint on nail polish ("Apply on the center of the nail first!")—it almost feels like I paid P800 for stuff I already know. She did complain constantly on her blog that the book was such a difficult thing to do so okay, cool, I applaud her efforts. 

So I think if she can get away with it, I pretty much could do the same thing. Lift stuff from the blog, post photos you've already seen, add a few articles and photos you've not seen to justify your purchase and make you buy my book. Or I can actually write another book about making motherhood work with grace and style! Which is not easy at all.

But writing a book is something I really want to do. And a book on mommyhood is perfect because it is what I love best! I just don't know if I can actually do it. Or if I do do it, if anyone would actually publish it! Time to start praying!

The Power of a Praying Woman
by Stormie Omartian. I have Power of a Praying Wife and Power of a Praying Parent so when I saw this on the bookshelf, I grabbed it. Praying Wife changed my life. But I'm not done reading it so I haven't started on Praying Woman yet. I plan to use that as my devotional as soon as I turn 36 (which is 7 days from now!).

The Bro Code for Parents
by Barney Stinson. Now this one I bought for Vince since I thought it's targeted to dads. We're both fans of How I Met Your Mother (although we wish they'd end the show already and just reveal who the mother is!). Vince was so happy with it and then we both started reading it and realized it's really for parents, as in not just for dads but for moms, too. So it's a book for both of us!

And, because we're parents, we just had to get assorted coloring books and Crayola crayons for Vito. Actually, Vince is always the one thinking of what to get the kids—books, toys, clothes. He's a super daddy that way. I'm more concerned with the supply of milk, diapers and food. When it comes to my kids' education and entertainment, why, it just never occurs to me! Thank God I have a husband!

I was on my way to the cashier when I saw Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams. What caught my eye were two things: the cover looked like the cover art of Harry Potter and Stephen King said he couldn't put it down. Ya know, the cover could be all black for all I care but if Stephen King—only the author who influenced me the most!—says he couldn't put the book down, then I must have that book!

I have a lot to read! I should have lots of free time soon so I'm looking forward to curling up in bed with my bookstore goodies. Actually, I've already started (hooray for long weekends!). There's not much you can do when you're breastfeeding except Tweeting, texting and reading a magazine and a book! Enjoy your holiday!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

First birthday gift! Cuzo gift certificates!

I'm turning 36 in exactly 10 days!

Woah. Let me just say that typing that sentence took me completely by surprise. If you've been reading my blog long enough, you'd know that I'm obsessed with my birthday. I usually write a birthday wish list weeks and weeks before the big day so that my loved ones have a shopping guide. But this year? I forgot to make a list!!! I have changed. Either that or I was just too busy these past few weeks!

I don't want to be too busy. Too busy is not a good thing. That's my 36th year Resolution #1: Don't be busy! Frak. So busy I forgot my own birthday!

It's a good thing Cuzo remembered! I've been blogging about this Filipino bag brand a few times recently and Bunnie, the owner, discussed with me the possibility of a design collaboration, a Topaz Horizon bag or maybe a Topaz Mommy diaper bag. So exciting! I dunno if I'll actually do this (I'm a writer, not a designer) but I like to think I will!

Well, for my birthday, Bunnie sent me this:

Oh wow! Shopping! Thanks, Bunnie! I've picked out these bags. Which one should I get for my birthday present???
Herringbone Fabric Tote, P1150

Mica Red Nylon Tote with Brass Accessories and Leather handles, P1150

Jess Coat Nylon Bag with Leather Strap, P1500

Carla Foldable Blue Nylon Tote with Brass Accessories and Removable Strap, P1500

Nina Large Laminated Fabric Bag, P2500

Bettina Black Leather Bag, P3395

Ria Cow-Hide Bag with Horse-Hair Handles, P3495

If you want to give Cuzo gift certificates, head on over to the Cuzo online shop now. They come in a special croc-stamped leather envelope so they make really great gifts for your mom, sister and friends for their birthday and for Christmas, too.

Happy shopping!

UPDATE: I got the Mica red nylon tote. I love it!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Topaz Fashion: What I wore on random days

These are from random days from the past 2 weeks. I didn't post them because they're bad outfit shots. Ya know, bad because you don't see the whole outfit or it's too dark or my face is weird. If Tyra Banks were to judge these photos, she'd say I didn't showcase the products and that's a bad fashion photo haha.

I am never going to be a fashion blogger this way! Not that I even want that but I really should at least try to do good shots, right, if I'm to do this Topaz Fashion feature. Anyway! Let's dive in!

Here I am at the Kiehl's boutique opening at Power Plant. I'm wearing a Forever 21 tank top, a Zara color-block skirt, Lacoste ballet flats and my Anne Klein bracelet watch that Vince gave me for my 30th birthday. My bag is the tan Frances Sales satchel. 

To the office on a regular day (no meetings and events). I'm wearing a Uniqlo dress worn as a top, Guess skinny jeans, Lacoste ballet flats, Karimadon woven belt, Vince's Nautica leather-strap watch and carrying a Fino satchel.

Lunch date with Vince... and Vito! It was just supposed to be Vince and me, that's why I brought out my flirting outfit but just as we were going out the door, Vito rushed to me carrying his Toms corduroy shoes and begged to come along. So the three of us had a nice lunch while IƱigo stayed home napping. I'm wearing an Ojay raw silk blouse, Frou Frou embroidered shorts, Kenneth Cole slingbacks and carrying my favorite Longchamp clutch (hidden by Vito's head).

Playdate at Vito's friend's house then shopping for Halloween costumes at Toy Kingdom. I'm wearing a very slimming Karimadon jumpsuit, Charles & Keith orange T-strap sandals and Vince's Skagen watch. Not pictured is the Cuzo black nylon tote that I use as a diaper bag

Okidoki, that's this week's Topaz Fashion! I'll really try for fashion-y poses and photos and facial expressions, ya know, like deep-in-thought pouts or staring off in the distance dreamily or touching my hair absently or clasping at my heel... Actually, I think I'll stick with my silly simple photos! 

Happy Friday! Enjoy the loooong weekend!