Things I Love Sundays: Fight

>> Monday, March 30, 2015

Lately, I haven't been spending my days as alone as I've been doing in the past. Suffice to say, I'd been accompanied more and more lately and I'm not complaining. Life is not designed to be lived alone anyway. However, there's this golden hour of my life that I truly enjoy so much. It's around 7-8 in the morning when I have a cup of coffee, a small breakfast, like today it was a banana, I listen to music and I feel completely alive.

The thing is, for a long time I thought I'd been just floating through life, getting through the path of least resistance. I feel like I've been going through check lists and to do tasks without thinking why I should be doing them in the first place. And in some things, I've kind of resigned to what should be done versus to what I wanted to do in the first place. So anyway, thanks to my friend C, that's the theme of the week: Fight. Fight for what you want to do, for what you want and what you deserve.
As for the rest of the week, these have been the things that have been happening:

I was in Singapore for a summit at work -- FUN times.

Le selfie with the Brian Wong of Kiip

The Best Hainanese Chicken in SG: Mandarin Orchard's Chatterbox

What's a trip to SG without some sort of sling? :P Here with my colleague and friend at Fullerton Bay Hotel

... in Digital, we go Google

Ending the week with a Japanese Hot Stone massage and a cup of lemongrass tea

It had been fun :) Here's to another fun week.


Tara's Guide to Attending a Wedding

>> Wednesday, March 25, 2015


I was telling a very young colleague lately how one must sort of plan out attending weddings. I can't say this enough: people get married left and right beginning in late twenties and to mid thirties, I think. Attending weddings is such a monumental moment: we witness our childhood friends, barkada, officemates, family promise forever to someone. I am of the belief that this is something worthy of a celebration.

My first wedding of the year is of my office friend's, Nica and his now-husband, Mathew. I am extremely glad to have been one of the people who've witnessed this important union in their lives and to have heard their vows {always my favorite part}. It's also always an excuse to wear formal wear, too.

Now, as a reminder to myself as well, here are some guidelines to attending a wedding, at least in the Philippines :P

  1. Follow the dress code. If the invite says Strictly Formal, do make sure you follow as much as you can. This would mean you might've to spring for a formal dress, or borrow from a friend. In my case, I have a slew of formal gowns inside my closet for these occasions. For this wedding, I'm wearing a dress by Rosanna Ocampo. Also, unless you want to earn the anger of the bride, don't wear white.

  2. Give what the couple wants. Rustan's bridal registry is the best and I'm so glad that my couple friends chose this for their gifts. I think money is also a popular choice nowadays and I think this is fair, given that you're sure that the marrying couple will like it so.
  3. RSVP Matters. RSVP was invented for a reason and that is to give the couple an accurate idea of who among their invited guests will be there for sure. According to Vogue, under no circumstances is it okay to ask for a plus one. Wait for the bride or the groom to give you a plus one --- that's essentially asking them to pay for another person. And in these days of expensive per heads in the multi-billion wedding industry, that's not particularly easy to cop out. Marrying couples often have the A List, the B List and the C List. It may not always include a plus one for you. 
  4. Put your best foot forward. And don't outshine the bride. I've read about some horror stories about people who've attended weddings and got waaaaaay sloshed. Or proposed to their girlfriends, effectively stealing the bride's thunder. Or made inappropriate toasts. Or lewd comments to the bride. Or hit on the bride. Always best to err on the side of caution whenever in doubt.
  5. Contribute to giving the guests a good time. I've seen it happen all the time in Filipino weddings: the couple would always ask everybody to stay for the after party but guests, often would scramble to get out of the wedding party as soon as they can. While I don't necessarily see weddings as an excuse to party, most couples crave for partying time with their guests after the formal programme. If you can spare the time, do stay, meet the other guests, share stories. If you're single, it's actually a legit way of meeting other single people. Whatever happens, have fun!

And if you're interested, this was my FOTD:

That's us and the couple at the last wedding I attended. Fun times!


Breakfast Mornings

>> Saturday, March 21, 2015

There's a little bit of chuckle as I realize it's been a long time since I cooked breakfast myself, for myself. There'd be weeks I would not open my fridge these last few months, and I'd be left throwing out anything I should've consumed. But life has a way of putting you back where you belong and in this case, me, in the kitchen. I even invited neighbors to come --- how sure was I that my pancakes were going to be edible? :P

I don't know what made me feel this way towards this Saturday morning. I guess is that wearing two hats at work {sometimes resulting to fits of confusion and being exhausted} as well as in my personal life led me to sort of chase every hour I'd been given lately. Most days would be a nice brunch, one of which I'd feel guilty eating because I feel like every hour of my waking hour should be dedicated to working, or thinking about work, or being planted squarely in my office. On another side, I was guilty of taking somebody's time so much. Some days, I'd skip breakfast altogether. Starting the day with a book? Forget it. I barely have time to remember what's really important to me in the mornings, much less for books that can {seemingly} wait.

But today --- today was different. I whipped up a batter of pancakes, took out a jar of maple syrup from my mother, read through trivial things, like Gwyneth Paltrow and the common woman, listened to J Mascis. I don't feel guilty about anything today,  not even as I slowly sip my coffee and linger around my house.

Thanks to Timehop, I saw that I'd been feeling somewhat the exact same way last year, needing space, needing white space in a seemingly cluttered photo. There's a little bit of confusion, wonder, wistfulness in me, but nothing that calmness can't fix.

I had so much time in my hands, that I rushed in to decorate it. Now that I look at it, maybe it wasn't really how I wanted to decorate it. It was like having a blank wall, where I scrambled to put in frames of photos I didn't even like. Now that I look at the bigger picture, it didn't turn out right, didn't turn out beautiful. I need to take them down now and start with a clean slate but I'm procrastinating. I'm hit with a sense of laziness and it had been comfortable. But it must be taken down soon.

I will soon. But for now, I'll get back to sipping my coffee and eating my pancakes. Happy blissful Saturday!



Chronicles of Primers: Happy Skin's Insta Beauty Blur Cream

Let me let you in on a secret: I wish I could just skip makeup most days. Sa totoo lang, I just work across my home anyway and I don't face so many people most days of the week. Plus, I could always just apply makeup when I need to, if I'm meeting new people. You know what's my makeup factor these days? PHOTOS. Everybody snaps photos all the time, even in corporate environments and the thought of an ugly photo of me surfacing somewhere is just not that attractive.

My favorite local beauty brand Happy Skin is quick to take note of this and have come out with a blur cream, to somewhat perfect what is imperfect in some of us.

Beauty in an instant! No filter needed. The Happy Skin InstaBeauty Blur Cream is a soft focus primer foundation that refines large pores and fills in lines & wrinkles giving you an amazingly smooth base for make-up to glide over. With this all-in formula, you get a light tinted veil that corrects, brightens, and blurs away skin imperfections. Used alone or under makeup, this multi-tasker not only preps the skin but also boasts anti-aging properties. It vanishes imperfections instantly before your eyes and helps turn back time, too!
My observations:

  • The consistency of this tinted primer is maybe half watery, half viscous. I'd say I was expecting it to be a little more gel-like, and was kind of surprised it was more foundation than primer.
  • The matte effect was not 100% matte, as I'd expect from a primer, which was fine, given there was a little glowing effect that it gave. 
  • I'd say there was noticeable blurring effect -- but I'm not exactly poreless after, which is fine.

  • That's me, above, wearing HS' Insta Beauty Blur Cream, and I'd say it appropriately covered the necessary blemishes to be hidden. It can sufficiently replace my current liquid foundation, for days when I feel like I want a light cream to use {which is a necessity in this humidity}. 
  • Pretty pricey at PHP 1,299 for a small tube but nonetheless would last a long time.

Happy Skin Insta Beauty Blur Cream is available at all Plains & Prints stores, Beauty Bars and online via

Happy Saturday!


Friday Tunes: Turn to Stone

>> Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Friday, girls! Life has been interesting and boring lately but my iPod has been churning out apropos music somehow. The road to 30th has been mostly interesting, and I've been able to check yet another item, due for discussion sometime soon. It had been rough, and I have literal battle scars to show. Life revolves lately around worksheets and pivot tables, something that's unheard of in my paradigm.


Today's tune is from one of my favorite female music artists, Ingrid Michaelson. :P

Turn to Stone 

Let's take a better look
beyond a story book
And learn our souls are all we own
before we turn to stone

Let's go to sleep with clearer heads
and hearts too big to fit our beds
And maybe we won't feel so alone
before we turn to stone

And if you wait for someone else's hand,
(If you wait for someone else's hand)
Then you will surely fall down
(If you wait for someone else's hand)
And if you wait for someone else's hand,
(If you wait for someone else)
You'll fall, you'll fall

I know that I am nothing new
There's so much more than me and you
But brother, how we must atone
before we turn to stone

And brother, how we must atone
before we turn to stone

Moon River | Audrey Hepburn

Happy Inspired Friday :)



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All I Want to Do

1. Go to NYC. 2.Create and not touch an emergency fund. 3. Tell someone I love him. 4.Cook a five-course meal and serve it to someone I love. 5. Love my imperfections but improve them, too. Read the rest here. Read the the 30th version here.
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