Sunday, January 13, 2013

Thank you for my gifts!

Oh my, I've had such a wonderful holiday season but Christmas is finally over. The pink tree has been packed away but the gifts, oh the gifts, they're still piled high! Vince is telling me to put them all away!

I got such great goodies from my family and friends. Thank you all so much! I'd also like to send a special thanks to all the brands and entrepreneurs who sent me their love:

A huge box of feminine prettifiers. I don't even know if prettifier is a word but anyway! Thanks, Unilab, for the loads of Myra, Body Cravings, Celeteque, Asian Secrets and Swish stuff! I'm especially liking the Asian Secrets Lulur Whitening Body Scrub. Thanks!

Three boxes of yummy mamon from Monde! This was our breakfast for almost all of December! Thanks so much for feeding us, Monde!

I love home fragrances. I have a shelf full of oils, candles and sprays. So this was a welcome gift. Three fragrances for a different part of your home—from kitchen to linen closet. Thanks, Zen Zest!

Okay, this gift made even the yayas happy. Vito gets to try out a lot of bath products but Iñigo is an exclusive Mustela user. Unlike Vito, Iñigo never had that newborn smell. You know that wonderful heavenly smell? Iñigo always smelled like a sweaty little boy. His pedia says it's because he's fat. It's the grease we smell. We tried all the baby bath products out there and it was this—Mustela!—that cleansed his skin so well and so gently that he smelled like a real baby. So for Iñigo, it's Mustela forevah! Thanks, Mustela, for the gift!

And this is my love, Heather Gray. It's Bitbit the Rabbit from ultra adorable (and proudly Pinoy!) brand Spinkie. I fell in love with Bitbit rabbits early last year but couldn't decide on what to buy since each and every design was beyond adorable. Finally, Vince said I should get the brown and pink, our wedding colors. I did and when Vito saw it, he promptly claimed it. So I've been yearning for my very own Bitbit and Spinkie sent me Heather Gray! Thank you so much, Spinkie!!!

A surprise from Forme. Isn't Forme a fashion brand? I guess they're going into the lucrative beauty business, too! Thanks, Forme, for the hand and body lotion!

This made me squeal in delight! A set of luxury bedsheets and duvet cover from Butterfly Dreams. This is pricey because it's like the softest cloth ever with super high thread count! They were looking through my blog and said that my new Ethan Allen headboard needed fancier sheets (Vince says that's what we get for posting photos of our nice headboard and our ratty sheets!). Woah, diba?! Thanks, Butterfly Dreams, for being my fairy godmother!

These are adorable. Friendship bracelets from Catalogue 63. Yes, this year was when I shopped at the online fashion boutique. I loved my dresses and, of course, my turquoise gown that has gotten a lot of mileage! Thanks for appreciating your shoppers, catalogue 63. I heart my friendship bracelets! 

Oh oh! I super love this gift from Sun Life! As you all know by now, Sun Life is our insurance and investments agency. So we love Sun Life. But now we love them more because of this Sun Jar! Vince used to have one. He loved it. And I broke it. It was a silly accident (stupid me put it on a narrow ledge) and I always said I'd replace it but this Sun Jar is just so expensive so I haven't. I think Vince has always been a little heartbroken because of that. So thank you, Sun Life, for saving my marriage!!!

Books for a book lover! Thanks, Fully Booked! What I love most about this gift is all the books here are published by Fully Booked. It inspired me to write a book and maybe let Fully Booked publish it!

All of the above beauty goodies are from L'Oreal! My dear L'Oreal family. I'm especially loving the Kiehl's, Pureology and Lancome stuff because I really use their products. I also use shu uemura's famous eyelash curler so I was freaking out in delight when they sent me a gold-plated one!!! The rest of the loot, I am so giddy to try out. Thanks, L'Oreal!

Okay, there's a lot more photos in my Blackberry (ya, sorry for the grainy shots!). I'll upload them in another post. Meanwhile, for this instalment, I just really want to say thank you to the people and brands who remembered me on Christmas. You are all so appreciated! Let's work together this 2013!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Topaz Fashion: What I wore to work

And work this week was an interview and a meeting. The other times I spent working was either writing at my desk or typing away on the bed and so let's not look at what I wore those times!

Interview outfit. I am wearing a PD & Co. dress with Charles & Keith sandals with a snakeskin heel. My clutch is a supple leather Massimo Dutti that Vince gave me for Christmas (thanks, Vince! I love it!). I wore this to interview dermatologist to the stars Dr. Aivee Aguilar-Teo. Read about my chat with her over at Topaz Mommy!

Meeting outfit. I am wearing a Uniqlo Breton shirt, Levi's Lady's Style metallic jeans, Nine West gladiator wedges and ELLE shades. My bag is Kate Spade. I wore this to a long meeting to discuss costs for a proposed project. It's a good thing I was comfortable. Money is never an easy topic so best be ready for a loooong talk! Anyway, when this photo was taken, I was already done with my meeting and, feeling hungry, I grabbed some cakes and pastries from a bakeshop.

So there, two outfits only! Next week is pretty hectic so I should have more outfits to report for the next Topaz Fashion. Enjoy the rainy weekend!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Major clothes giveaway!

Part of my quest to simplify is to get rid of all the clothes and shoes and bags that have piled up on me through the years. The plan was to sell them on eBay (I kept mentioning it on the blogs) but I decided on New Year's Day, as I emptied out my closets, I decided that selling means more complications. Measuring, describing, posting, accounting, sending... The process just didn't jive with my simplification!

So I invited my sister and my eldest niece to come over and take all they wanted!

It was so much fun! I had dresses that still had tags on them, clothes I wore only once, tops that were gifted to me but weren't me so I never wore them, shoes I bought for my enlarged post-partum feet that had since shrunk back to normal. The girls brought home bags upon bags of lovely clothes!

Now my closet has maybe 30 dresses in it. I feel lighter, like I can breathe again. The clothes they didn't like—which were nice but they deemed "for oldies" haha—I donated to charity. The house is suddenly bigger, more spacious. The new roominess doesn't even tempt me to shop! In fact, I told my sister and niece to come back again since I unearthed even more stuff for them. I'm happy, they're happy!

P.S. You know what this means, right? No more Topaz Fashion!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Acqua Iguazu! Amazing name, isn't it?

Halloo there! I hope you all had a great holiday. Vince, Vito and I went on a little field trip just before Christmas and visited Acqua Private Residences. If you regularly drive on J.P. Rizal St. by the Pasig River, you'd have seen Acqua rising. It's opposite Rockwell Center, across the river, by the Estrella Bridge.

Well, right about now, the site looks like the photo above, but pretty soon there will be six towers, the most luxurious being Acqua Iguazu yoo inspired by Starck. Quite a mouthful! Famed designer Philippe Starck said blithely, "Ah-mezing name, eesn't eet?" Amazing name indeed!

Amazing looking, too. By the time the P1.3 billion development is done, it will be a landmark along Pasig—the buildings designed to look like mountains rising out of a thick rainforest, with waterfalls seemingly running down the facade, and a sun shining down on the complex at day and the moon glowing on it at night.

Iguazu is the tallest building, the rightmost, the one with the glowing orb. The interiors are designed by Starck and John Hitchcox to have three themes: Minimal, Nature and Culture. Since we observed that our toddler has a love for beautifully designed spaces, we brought him along to check out what he thinks of Acqua Iguazu.

I love how the Minimal is so clean and bright. An entire wall is made out of glass and leads out to the balcony, hence the flooding of light. Even if the space is small (about 36-39 sqm), the design makes it look roomy and cozy at the same time.
Vito's Verdict: He loved it! He loved the bed most of all.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Looking back, moving forward

If I were the glass-half-empty kinda person (and to be very honest, I actually am), I'd look back at 2012 and think, "What a bad year." I had a delicate pregnancy, I had hired a bad woman to take care of Vito, I had a hard time juggling work and motherhood, and OK! magazine got killed off.

But 2012 was actually pretty fantastic. Incredible! My pregnancy got better, I dismissed the bad maid and learned such good lessons from that experience that the yayas I have now are beyond great, God sent ladies of faith to me who are now my prayer partners and friends, my second life dream—to be a newspaper columnist—came true, Vito continued to grow more amazing, and sweet darling cutie pie Iñigo was born.

My life is full. Too full, in fact. So for 2013, I'm decluttering, discarding, simplifying. And that will apply to all—stuff, processes, relationships.

Simplifying doesn't mean living on one pair of shoes. But it certainly means 30 pairs is a lot, especially if I use just 3 pairs! Same applies to my bags and clothes. I've started unloading stuff actually. Gave away around 50 dresses and a few shoes to my sister and niece. They looked great in my clothes! The rest I donated to charity. Already I feel lighter and better!

Simplifying doesn't mean it's the easier way, though. For example, I order a lot of fast food because for a busy mom like me, it's the easier option to actually cooking food. But homecooked food is healthier and cheaper and better for me and my family. So that's what I aim to do!

Simplifying means giving more time to the people and things that matter most. Something I should remember this year since job offers are coming at me left and right. I'm grateful, of course, but I wanted to spend more time with my kids! So I should carefully choose what I'll work on and to keep in mind that I wanted a life devoted to my young sons. It's really helped me make good decisions, by the way!

Simplifying also means cutting off complicated and negative people from my life. That includes Facebook. I won't say anymore but if you're on Facebook, I'm sure you understand the stress! I'm just going to quietly block, unfriend and hide.

So that's my goal this year! I feel better about 2013 already! What is it about this year that makes me so happy? Oh, I know—my husband, my kids, my friends, our good health! They're all I really need. Simple!

*image from