Friday, February 28, 2014

Topaz Fashion: Cole Vintage's work-ready line

It's March tomorrow! Graduation month! New career kids trooping out to join the workforce! And to some of us who already have careers, March is a new reason to shop for clothes (because, wala lang, who needs a good reason to shop anyway?!)! 

As you all know, I love wrap dresses. It's so flattering to us women. It's such a simple design, so elegant, timeless... Every girl should have several in their closet! (I have several in my closet!) It's great for job interviews and for days at work. It's great for lunches and family gatherings. It's even great for dates (depending on the print)!

Cole Vintage knew I'm a fan of the wrap dress so they gave me this:
Becca wrap dress, P1,099
I love it! It's orange! My favorite color!!! Thanks, Cole Vintage! I love the black and white, too!

I can't wear it yet because I'm kinda really pregnant right now but when I am back to my old body, I am so going to whip that orange-and-white wrap dress out of my closet. Yep, even if I wear it 6, 8 or 10 months from now, even next year, even 10 years from now, it never goes out of style!

Cole Vintage told me that this simple elegance is "the inspiration behind our two toned mini collection.  These pieces are definitely in it for the long haul—they’re here to stay."

If you're a new grad going job-hunting and want to make a good impression, try the Becca wrap dress from Cole Vintage. They also have this chic sheath dress that you can wear from the office straight to dinner with friends or even on a date! Just wear a blazer at work to look professional, then when you go out for the night, take off the jacket, put on a big metal cuff and some sparkly earrings!
Mallory dress, P1,299
Their totes are two-toned, too. Totes are a must for working women. We carry so much stuff! 
Jacques tote (black-brown), P999
Jacques tote (silver-mocha), P999

Cole Vintage is available at The Ramp Trinoma, The Ramp Shangri-la, The Ramp Glorietta, SM North Edsa, SM Makati, SM Mall of Asia, SM BF Paranaque, The Podium, and at the Archaeology Power Plant Mall. Visit our website

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

My novel for February is John Green's The Fault in Our Stars.

I only wanted to read it because the movie's coming out and I only wanted to watch the movie because of the guy playing the romantic lead. I first saw Ansel Elgort in the remake of Carrie, and though it had Julianne Moore and Chlöe Grace Moretz in it, it was Ansel who caught my eye. That kid can act!

So since I wanted to watch the movie, I had to first read the book. I read it just before Valentine's Day so I was feeling very loved up. The book, very easy to read (in fact, you can finish it in a few hours), is not intimidating at all. Intimidating? Yep. It's about teenagers dying of cancer, a story not everyone finds thrilling. But read it read it read it!

The story begins with a girl and a boy meeting at a cancer support group. Hazel Grace Lancaster has thyroid cancer and Augustus Waters has bone cancer. She didn't set out to fall in love. She just wanted to live the rest of her life in peace, not wanting to form any relationships because that means more people will get hurt by her eventual death. But Augustus broke down her walls with this:

OMG. I can't even go on talking about the book! You'll just have to read it yourself! It's so funny and so sad. I cried so much, my son Vito was alarmed. He said, "Why cry, Mama?" And I said, "This book is sad. People are dying." And he said, "Not good book."

Oh, but it is. It is!

I think I'm going to tell you another story. On the day I started reading this book, my friend said that her son asked her, "If God knew that man would sin against Him, why did He still make man?" And she said she didn't know what to answer really, but I was very quick. "Love!"

Love is the only reason. When I was a kid, I didn't understand why people got married and had kids. All the married people I know and all the parents I know were miserable and always complaining about their spouses and their kids. Seriously. If marriage and kids made everyone so unhappy, why did everyone insist on getting married and having kids?

Then I met this woman at a salon. She was having her hair done for her 10th wedding anniversary party that night. She told me that in all their 10 years married, maybe they were only really happy for just two years. I was flabbergasted. "What's to celebrate then?!" And she said, "Even if we were only happy for a day, I'd marry him all over again."

Now that I'm married myself, I understand. Not every day is a happy day. Vince and I fight. We get annoyed at each other. We get fed up, exasperated. We say hurtful things. A marriage is not easy, and mine is no exception. But when I think about Vince and me, all I really see is the laughter, the passion, the long whispered talks in the dark of night, the shared looks, the quiet way he slowly slips his hand into mine, our secret words. And if I believed before that my life was horrible, I now don't because all my life was leading up to what Vince and I have. If all the terrible-ness of before meant I could have that one day when Vince kissed me or that day when he said, "You really are special," or that day he married me, then all the terrible-ness was worth it.

Life is even more spectacular now with our kids, Vito and Iñigo. Sure there are days I want to scratch my eyes out because it gets really difficult. Sure there are days I just want to curl up in bed and sleep till the kids are leaving for college. Parenting is not easy. Not at all. But all the clichés are real. I really do live for their smile, I really can stare at them all day, I really do feel my heart will explode from the love. And if the exhaustion and stress and helplessness means that I was with my kids, then it's okay. Because, really, my life is all about loving my boys.

So I know that when God created man, He didn't even hesitate because He saw in His omniscient and sovereign way that the love and goodness and wonder of man will still overcome our evil. He still created us because He loved us (I John 4:19). And that's all the reason He needs.

All that I thought of when I read The Fault in Our Stars! I just came away from the book celebrating life and love, that no matter how short our life is, love is truly eternal. Don't worry, it's not a theological book. It's not even a book about tragedy. It's just a lovely little book about love and loss and, ultimately, about life. Go read it now!

*quotes images from 8tracks and Rebloggy

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Topaz Beauty: How I care for my red red hair

Everyone loves my red hair. I love it, too! Even if it's such hell to have it! For one thing, red has the largest molecules so it bleeds the most—it stains everything: towels, bedsheets, clothes. A big reason why I've taken to wearing black is because of my red hair. Red also fades the fastest. Many of my friends and readers who color their hair red (because they loved mine, naks!) complain that the color is gone as early as the third week. 

Yep, red is very high maintenance and I wouldn't recommend it to busy moms like me. But... I love it! I think it's me! It matches my fiery temper and passionate personality.
Newly colored.
Now, 5 months after coloring.

Yep, it's been five months since I had my hair colored. It's not an angry red anymore, more like a red brown. With 2 inches of roots yuck! For someone who insists on coloring her hair red, I don't go to the salon as often as I should. I go maybe every 6 months. Yep, just twice a year! So people ask how I can care for my red hair. Here's how:
1. I use hair products specifically made for colored hair. My favorites are Kerastase, Kiehl's and Pureology.
2. I don't wash my hair often. Every time hair gets wets, color molecules are washed out, so I try to wash my hair just twice a week. This is possible because I'm just home all the time so I don't get sweaty or my hair doesn't get exposed to pollution.
3. I use cool water for my hair. Hot water opens up the hair shaft, making the color seep out faster.
4. I don't go under the sun. The sun's rays bleach color!

I wrote more about taking care of colored hair in Working Mom's July issue last year. Dedet Panabi, the editor-in-chief, definitely picked the right girl for the job since I've been coloring my hair since I was 18! I know what I'm talking about!

I really think girls (and boys!) should just have fun with hair color. Try a different color every now and then. It's just hair! And when you find the perfect color for you, you'd be amazed at how it can completely change everything—your attitude, how people perceive you, your looks, your confidence!

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