Tuesday, April 09, 2013

This is my Philippines

I know a ton of the tourism ads promote our absolutely stunning beaches and other fabulous natural spots. Yes, definitely worth a visit, guys. But I'm not a nature girl and these gorgeous places really don't attract me. But this one, this is my Manila, my Philippines!

I love this country!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Watch The Full Monty!

Love musicals? Love comedy? Love naked men? I love all three! Well, okay, maybe just the naked husband (yum!). Anyway, if you do love songs and laughter and strippers, then you're in for a treat—The Full Monty is here!

My friend, Ianne Evangelista, and her friends bought one night and are selling tickets to promote local theater. I do love theater, I just haven't watched a play or a musical since getting pregnant in 2009! How horrible, right? Especially since my own sister is a theater actress!!!

Must really support the local theater industry. Our actors, musicians, writers, directors, producers, dancers, etc etc are all so talented and deserve our patronage. So let's all go and watch a show, shall we?

Ianne emailed me, "Produced by Viva Atlantis Theatricals, The Full Monty is based on the movie of the same title, and the musical has a book by the multi-awarded Terence McNally with music and lyrics by David Yazbek. Directed by Chari Arespacochaga, the show stars Mark Bautista, Arnel Ignacio, Marco Sison, Jamie Wilson, OJ Mariano, and Nino Alejandro. Ima Castro, Sitti, and Ciara Sotto play supporting roles. My friend Gemini Quintos is also in The Full Monty. Reporting from rehearsals, she said that it’s going to be a great show with strong and hilarious performances from the lead cast. 

"The Full Monty runs at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater at the RCBC Plaza in Makati. For tickets, please call 0917-537-3040 (Tin), 0917-861-7978 (Ianne), 0929-618-1615 (Rica), or email fullmontyapril27@gmail.com

Please share with friends and family! Also, please like our Facebook page so you can see updates and extra details leading up to April 27. Should you decide to book tickets, just let me know which seats you’d like and I’ll have them delivered to you."

Sounds good to me! Let's all go watch naked men sing and dance!

*photos courtesy of Ianne

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Easy Parmesan crisps for this lazy weekend

Vince loves this. Loves this! And it's so easy to make! You can make it for your hubby, family and friends and they'll think you're so fancy when in truth Parmesan crisps are effortless.

Here's what you do:
Step 1: Grate Parmesan cheese. If you're a lazy cook like me, just buy a bag of pre-grated cheese. I hear, however, that freshly grated Parmesan has more flavor.

Step 2: Grind some black pepper. This adds spice.

Step 3: Mix!

Step 4: Put foil on a baking sheet then pile a tablespoon of the cheese-and-pepper mixture. This is for small crisps. If you want big crisps, pile more!

Step 5: Put in a hot oven. Watch it bubble! This smells absolutely fantastic! Take it out after a few minutes, when the edges start to brown.

Step 6: This is why I use foil. The cheese stick to the foil and it can be tricky to remove. What I do is lift the foil then place the back of the foil onto the edge of the kitchen counter and I roll it back and forth. As the cheese dries up, it just peels from the oil with each rolling motion!

Tada! These are especially good with Dijon mustard. The saltiness and the bite of the mustard? Heaven! This is Vince's favorire snack. He loves Parmesan crisps with pepperoni, salami, Hungarian sausages. So easy to whip up and he thinks I'm amazing!

I made these small but they're actually pretty when they're large. Just spread into a large circle on the foil (instead of my cheese mounds). I've seen some cooks make shapes like stars! It comes out really delicate, like lace.

Here are other ways to serve Parmesan crisps:
1. Float on a bowl of creamy sweet soup, like squash and sweet potato.
2. While soft, roll into a tube shape. Serve stuck in a bowl of Ceasar salad.
3. While soft, place in muffin cups to create a cup shape. It can be an edible mini salad container!

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday, April 05, 2013

Topaz Fashion: Checked out Karimadon's VIP fitting room

On my way to a mom blogger event at Glorietta 1, I passed by the very large Karimadon shop and couldn't resist going in and browsing.
I've been a Karimadon fan since I was 17 years old. I'm 36 now. That's a love affair that's going on for two decades! At my high school graduation, I wore a Karimadon lace button-up blouse with matching pencil skirt. I also bought a matching pleated skirt which I changed into at the graduation ball. I felt so beautiful!

I always feel beautiful in Karimadon. That's why I still have Karimadon in my wardrobe until now. If you want proof, check out all my Karimadon outfits and accessories by clicking here!

I was really just going to window shop (I was on my way to another event, remember) but there were so many pretty clothes and accessories that I found myself grabbing a few dresses and heading to the dressing rooms!

That's how I found out that there's a secret door that leads to the VIP dressing room!!! Since I've been a Karimadon lover for decades, I figured I could ask to take a peek. The saleslady didn't just allow me a peek, she told me to go try my clothes in the VIP room!!!
Chandelier, shag rug, scented candles, cozy sofa for friends or lovers, large mirror! Love it! I loved the space most of all. The curtained off fitting area was big so I could change in and out of my clothes without bumping into walls.

You guys should really try it! I actually don't know who gets to be lucky enough to use the VIP room. Maybe you should be a regular customer who buys a lot of dresses? Or maybe you're a bride with your bridesmaids? I forgot to ask! But I wasn't a regular customer at the Glorietta branch (I go to Robinsons Galleria and Megamall) but I was still allowed access so maybe you just need to ask!

And here's what I got! I love it! It's a wrap dress. Vince loves me in wrap dresses. He says I look sophisticated yet sexy. But I think he likes how easy they are to take off haha! Anyway, I'm planning to wear this to a magazine shoot. Yes, I'll be in front of the camera this time! I still need another dress, though, since the shoot called for me in my usual look (I'm usually in wrap dresses or sheath dresses so check!) and a glamorous look. I still don't have a dress for that one. Maybe I should drop by Karimadon again!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Unlearning my poor mentality

Oh wow. Has it been a week? Yep, I haven't blogged here in a week. You would not believe what happened to that week! I don't want to talk about it (yet) but suffice it to say someone, or maybe two someones, stole almost P10,000 from me.

A friend told me, "You really shouldn't have left money lying around. Alam mo naman ang poor."

"Excuse me," I said. "I grew up poor and I never ever was tempted to steal. Not even tempted! Hello, para namang mayaman ka rin. Parehas lang tayo pakalat-kalat sa kalye nung bata pa tayo. Wala yan sa kesyo poor ka o rich. May mga tao talagang maitim ang budhi!"

Until I find out what really happened, I won't talk about it. Well, I don't even know if I'll find out the truth. Meanwhile, I've been thinking about growing up poor and how glad I am that my parents and grandparents raised me so well that I never stole, cheated, envied, became greedy or begrudged those who had more material wealth.

I am also grateful that I was raised a Born-Again Christian. It's hard to have poor mentality when I knew I was the daughter of the King and a member of His royal priesthood. I am a princess and a priestess! There is no room for envy and self-pity in the heart of one so blessed!

But I will admit that having so little when I was growing up did still leave vestiges of poor mentality on me. There's this funny but insightful article on Cracked.com that talks about the stupid habits you develop when you grow up poor. Go, read it! You have to read it first so you'll understand why it's habits of poor mentality. Thankfully, I only caught two of the habits! Here they are:

You develop a taste for bad food. I won't name brands but for the longest time, my experience of La Paz batchoy was from a noodle company. Their La Paz batchoy is soooo good! So when I finally encountered the real thing, I didn't like it!

Same goes with coffee. Ngayon lang naman ako pa-brewed-brewed, pa-Cappucino, Americano. Please, with warm cream and brown sugar. Ang type ko naman talaga instant coffee. But that's not something I'll ever admit in public (shhh!) because I'm surrounded by sosyal people now.

You want to go overboard on gifting. Well, I kinda got over this affliction when the kids came haha. But before the kids, I loved giving gifts. To everyone! My goodness, sayang ang pera!!! Haha, I gave nga kasi to everyone—family, friends, friends of friends, people who are nice to me at work, the condo guards, the neighbors, the everybody!

There was this one time I felt really bad because... Okay, many years ago, there were two girls named Frances in the publishing company where I used to work, one was an editor and I, well, I was the new PR girl. But everyone was nice to me so that Christmas, I gave sooo many people gifts. The other Fran got the thanks. Nobody thought the gift came from me because, really, no one knew me! Sayang ang pera ko! Lalo na't ang liit pa ng sweldo ko then. Poor me. Literally!

Hmm, come to think of it, I think there are other habits of a poor mentality. Add these to the list:

Poor people buy tingi. Sachets, sample sizes, cellphone load.

The poor always make tawad. Argh. Vince hates this! He says it's embarrassing when I haggle. He says, "If you can't afford full price, don't buy it!" He's actually okay if I haggle in Greenhills, tiangge, market. But the habit is deeply ingrained—sometimes I make tawad sa department store or at boutiques! Cringe!

Poor people dream to be an employee for life. Aha! Most of us go to school so we can end up working in some company. We spend so much in schooling just so we can make money for someone else! Poor people think that they have to have a boss. It's okay to have a good, steady job, of course. But you'll never be a billionaire as long as you're working for someone else.

Vince helped a lot in my un-education. For one thing, he set me straight when it came to credit card use. He's also teaching me how to save and spend wisely. We're reading this amazing book called All Your Worth. Vince's brother-in-law, businessman Lit Onrubia (yes, the Chi Runner and, yes, of the wedding proposal at Julia Fordham's concert fame!), recommended it to us when we said we're ready to take money seriously. This book makes so much sense! And it makes money such a wonderful thing—it's not something to slave over, worry about or store away obsessively. This book changes attitudes towards money, spending and saving. We love it and highly recommend it!

The really rich aren't obsessed with money, to be honest. They love that it's there, of course, but they treat money as a tool and a by-product of success. That's another poor mentality thing: Poor people think money is the measure of one's success. While that is mostly true, true success is doing what you love, being who you really are. So gather the courage to be yourself and do what you were meant to do on this earth. Then you'll be truly wealthy!